Making gun violence about mental health is a crazy idea

reed with youthWe have to take action and address the mental health issue that is plaguing our society.–Rep. Tom Reed, Feb. 15, 2018

Jonathan M. Metzl is a professor of sociology and psychiatry, and director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, at Vanderbilt University. With Ken MacLeish he is author of “Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms.”


Read here:

Or watch:

Posted in 2018, Congress, Gun Violence, Political, Reed's Views, Trump | Tagged | 18 Comments

Petitioning: The Campaign’s Next Phase

The next phase of the NY23rd Congressional Campaign will begin on March 6 (Tuesday). That is the first day the candidates and their campaign teams can ask registered NY23rd Democrats to sign their nominating petitions. Each campaign will decide when they will stop getting signatures; they need to count (and recount) the signatures, number the pages, have the petitions bound and hand delivered to Albany between April 9 and 12.

Even though each candidate needs to have 1,250 signatures to qualify to on the June 26 Primary ballot, they will get more. It is my understanding that will try for double that amount, and some campaigns have a goal of 3,000 signatures! After the petitions reach the State Board of Elections, they can, and probably will be challenged. After the challenge process, the BOE will certify which candidates survive the challenges. In 2016, Rep. Reed’s campaign challenged the petitions of his potential primary opponent Gary Perry. Perry turned in about 800 accepted signatures, far less than the requirement. The challenge was upheld, and there were no GOP Primary.

Hints to those who sign petitions:

  • You can only sign one petition. Ask the person who is requesting your signature about the candidate.  Ask about their background and how they feel about one or two issues that are important to you.
  • Make sure you write your Street Address as your residence –nobody lives in a Post Office Mail Box
  • Make sure you write the correct date
  • Your signature must be witnessed

If you strongly support a particular candidate, consider volunteering passing  one of their petitions.  You do not need to fill out a full petition (10 or 15 names); Candidates would be happy if you could get five of your friends, family members or neighbors to sign it. Every little bit helps.

This process is not only for getting the required signatures. It is an opportunity for the campaigns to make contacts with as many NY23rd democrats as possible and get their names known throughout the district.  If each of the six candidates get 3000 signatures, they will have contacted 18,000 democrats. FYI, the NY23rd 2012 Democratic Primary drew just over 11,000 voters.

After the petitions are turned in to Albany, the next phase begins–Campaigning to win the Primary Election!  There is just over 10 weeks from the time the petitions are turned in and the Primary. This is when their campaigns will be in running on all cylinders.

This is what democracy looks like!




Posted in 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Tom Reed’s lexicon

lexicon“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”–Lewis Carroll

We don’t pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes.–Leona Helmsley


That’s a conversation we need to have.I don’t want to talk about it.

By having the hard conversation, but disrupting the conversation, that’s the biggest asset he (Trump) brings to Washington D.C.–whatever Donald says.

He (Trump) is not going to be able to agree with these folks (the NRA) on these issues, but it’s about having the dialogue and actually coming to a solution that people can come together.–whatever the NRA says.

He supports second amendment rights..–whatever the NRA says.

When you start banning weapons, when you start taking away second amendment rights, that’s a freedom, freedom is hard.–whatever the NRA says.

Reed will take these concerns from his constituents back to Washington D.C.constituents’ concerns will be forgotten before Tom leaves the room.

Your opinions are important to me.Why should I care what “little people” think?

I’ll get back to you on that.—I don’t want to talk about it.

We need to agree to disagree.--forget you!


Posted in 2018, Congress, Constituents, Political, Reed's Views, Town Hall Meeting | 3 Comments

Are attractive young women the new thing?


Does “tres Brooklyn” really mean young and cool in Paris, or only in the NY Times Travel Section?


Are attractive young women the new thing? Here are some indications of that:

  • Daytime TV hostesses and commentators.
  • Trump’s three  wives, all fashion models.
  • Omarose Manigault-Newman, Hope Hicks, Ivanka Trump

On the other hand, experienced politicians like Susan Collins, Diane Feinstein, and Nancy Pelosi may be old hat. When Tom Reed in his political propaganda attacks Nancy Pelosi, is he emphasizing her age and appearance rather than her competence? Did her age cost Hillary Clinton the election?

Does  male adultery no longer matter to “value voters?” Is the “metoo” movement a reaction to youth-worship? One wonders.



Posted in Reed's Views, Seniors | Tagged | 5 Comments

Would you?


Trade wars are good.--President Trump

Fixing the tax system must be a top priority because it threatens everything we care about — including jobs, healthcare, education, public investment, the environment, and retirement security.–Charles Whalen, economist and former congressional candidate.

The House passed “tax reform” that is a boon to the rich and explodes the deficit. What would your vote have been?--Tom Reed’s propaganda paraphrased and corrected

Would you vote for this person?

  • Voted for “tax reform” that mostly benefits the rich and explodes the deficit.
  • Says tax cuts will pay for themselves–voodoo economics.
  • Mocks his opponents, labels his opponents kindergarten fashion.
  • Supports and apologizes for  a President who has delivered chaos and disruption.
  • Ignores the threat of climate change.
  • Refuses to support responsible firearm regulations.
  • Believes Social Security and Medicare are unsustainable unless benefits are cut.
  • Blames mass murder on “mental health.”
  • Campaigns with “feel good” photo ops.
  • Has a conflict of interest with his “wife’s business.”
  • Funded primarily by out-of-state interests.

Would you, really?

What would you add to this list?



Posted in 2018, Campaign Finances, Congress, Constituents, Gun Violence, Health Care, Medicare, Political, Reed's Views, Social Security, Taxes, trade, Trump | Leave a comment

Immigrant Data for NY23rd


diversity-made-simple-HALCXY-quoteThe following information is from the New American Economy. Besides the data about each Congressional District there are many data driven reports explaining the effects immigrants have on different industries and geographical areas. 


Immigrants and the economy in:

New York District 23 

  • Immigrant Residents: 27,046 
  • Immigrant Share of Population: 3.8% 
  • Immigrant Taxes Paid (2014): $229.4M 
  • Immigrant Spending Power (2014) :$560.1M 
  • Immigrant Entrepreneurs: 653 
  • Immigrant Share Ranking 362 of 435


    Similar to the United States as a whole, immigrants in most districts are more likely to be of working age—defined as being between the ages of 25 and 64—than the native-born population. This allows them to contribute to U.S. entitlement programs and also assume roles helping seniors as they age.

  • Age Group Foreign-Born Population Share Native-Born Population Share
    0-24 30.3% 33.8%
    25-64 54.4% 50.3%
    65+ 15.3% 15.9%

Here are some suggestions of facts that Rep. Reed might want to know about. Feel free to share them any way you want:

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Congressional Candidate Charles Whalen suspending his campaign

Charles Whalen from Geneva issued the following statement “For Immediate Release” today:

Friends and Fellow Democrats,
Effective immediately, I’m suspending my campaign for Congress.

CharleWhalen-6179b 2I remain convinced that my message of advancing our common interests is the only way to defeat Tom Reed and serve effectively in Congress. (Some of my opponents seem to agree: a number have recently adopted a message similar to the one I’ve had from the start.)

Even more important: I’m the only candidate with the combination of first-hand experience and demonstrated commitment needed to manage the budget and economy on behalf of working families — especially now that Republicans have placed an economic time bomb in our tax system.

Nobody in this race matches my 30 year record of practical problem solving on behalf of working families; nobody. Over the course of my career, I’ve worked across upstate New York, forging business-labor partnerships and finding commonsense ways to save jobs and create new ones. I also served more than six years at the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, responsible for vital work on taxes, spending, and their effect on the economy. In addition, my career includes a record of testifying multiple times before Congress on deficits, budget gimmicks, and the economic challenges facing working families — a record of experience that extends back to when Tom Reed was still a university student.

Fixing the tax system must be a top priority because it threatens everything we care about — including jobs, healthcare, education, public investment, the environment, and retirement security. Nobody else can go toe-to-toe with Reed on this all-important issue. And given the fiscal crisis we face today, members can’t delegate the needed expertise to their staff.

Before jumping into the race, I read the job description for the office. It’s laid out in the Constitution. Managing tax policy is the first responsibility listed, followed by managing public spending and the budget (including federal deficits and debt). In fact, the House of Representatives has a special responsibility; the Constitution states, “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House.”

Congress has more than enough lawyers (and teams of them are available to help members draft legislation). But Congress has only one economist — a Republican libertarian with no record of prior practical experience. I was hoping we would change that in 2018, and, in the process, repeal and replace Tom Reed and remind Washington that Congress is OUR House. Now, though, that seems extraordinarily unlikely.

I entered the race when it became clear that taxes, spending, and economic security (including healthcare security) would be central issues in this campaign. But I did so only after observing that my familiarity with numerous policy issues beyond economics — on matters ranging from agriculture and healthcare to immigration and the environment — matched or exceeded that of any other announced candidate. Because I was less familiar with gun policy and defense issues, I made it a top priority to get up to speed on those subjects, resulting in principled stands that show my commitment to sensible policies serving our common interests. My grasp of policy matters and familiarity with the district since the mid-1970s has been evident since my first candidates’ forum and has been highlighted by reporters covering the race.


From the day I announced an interest in running, my campaign has energized voters across the district and across party lines. People respond to my message because they can see it’s a genuine reflection of where I come from and what I’ve done throughout my career. And they appreciate that I have one message for all audiences — a message I’ve delivered with greater and greater effectiveness each week. But my team doesn’t have the resources necessary to mount the type of campaign we need to be successful through November.

In the most recent federal reporting period, my campaign exceeded the expectations of many observers by finishing in the middle of the pack for “cash on hand” at the end of the quarter — and nearly the entire difference separating my campaign from those with more cash can be attributed to my (Democratic) opponents’ use of personal funds. But fundraising relative to other candidates is not what matters: I’m the only Democrat in this race to have worked on a congressional campaign through the general election, and I know the funds I have are not enough. So, unless a huge infusion of cash occurs soon (which, of course, I’d welcome with open arms), I see no way to move forward successfully.

But let me be clear. My inability to raise the funds this campaign needs has nothing to do with the size of the field. For my campaign strategy to have succeeded, there was no room for major unpleasant surprises. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what came my way shortly after I announced, when a vital campaign staff person was unable to come on board because of events beyond anyone’s control. Then, more recently, a serious family illness forced me to put much campaign work on hold for some weeks. I reject the view of those who say the race has too many candidates (a view I’ve heard since before I entered the race) and that the field should be narrowed. To them I say: This is what robust democracy looks like; get over it.

To my family and my supporters, I offer a huge thank you. Our campaign contributed constructively to the race every day. We gave voice to many who felt unheard for too long. We encouraged a new generation of political engagement. And we elevated the policy discussion — by offering fresh ideas as well as new ways of thinking about long-overdue proposals.

I’ve devoted my entire adult life to advancing the interests of working people by means of steps that are both bold and practical. That work will continue, most likely in the form of a nonprofit that aims to find innovative policy solutions, partly by engaging stakeholders across our region. In addition, I was recently elected president (for the current year) of an international association of economists in the tradition of those who gave us the New Deal and Great Society; as my campaign winds down, I’ll have more time than anticipated to devote to that leadership responsibility in the coming months.

I have no plans to endorse another candidate. And I have no interest in joining someone else’s campaign or congressional staff. There was no splash when I entered the race; that’s exactly the way it should be as I exit.

With unwavering hope for the future,


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments