Friday, April 29, 2005
Another day....another vote with DeLay
While true moderates like Christopher Shays of Connecticut joined 14 other Republicans to vote against a federal budget that makes substantial cuts to Medicaid while giving huge tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, according to this article
, Sue chose to vote
yesterday with the conservative wing of her party, which managed to pass the budget by a narrow vote of 214 to 211. How can Sue continue to describe herself as a moderate when she frequently votes with the most conservative members of her party like Tom DeLay? Good question.
Perhaps Sue needs to spend less time in her garden in Katonah and more time talking to some of the people in NY's 19th who depend on access to Medicaid. While she's at it, she might also want to talk to those of us in the district who don't depend on access to Medicaid for our health care, but who know that we'll eventually wind up paying the bill anyway via higher health insurance rates and higher state taxes.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Another vote with DeLay...
Sue has long claimed to be pro-choice as part of her so-called moderate stance and has received money
from a group called Republican Majority for Choice. But yesterday, when it came time to vote in the House on a rule that makes it a federal crime to transport a girl younger than 18 across state lines for an abortion, Sue once again sided
with the conservative wing of Tom DeLay and Co. Attempts to soften the bill to allow siblings or grandparents or some other responsible adult figure other than the girl's parents to be exempted were all shot down with Conservatives portraying these people as "sexual predators". While the rule is unlikely to directly impact people here in New York's 19th, since it's unlikely a teenager would need to cross state lines in this area, there are numerous states in the Midwest and south where the closest provider may very well be across state lines.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
How nice that Sue has decided to change her mind when it comes to taking ethics investigations seriously in the House. As this article
notes, the resolution was passed by an overwhelming vote
of 406-20. The resolution essentially reverses a new set of rules created back in January that made it all but impossible to investigate ethics violations in the House, which not so surprisingly benefited Sue's buddy (and patron), Tom DeLay. But back in January, Sue voted
with the Republicans to gut the ethics rules. What made her change her mind a mere four months later? And, perhaps more importantly, how much of a flip-flopper does this quick change of heart make Sue?
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Where was Sue?
On Friday, the House passed the so-called Energy Policy Act of 2005, which according to the Republican spin machine, was all about lowering gas prices, even though President Bush was quoted in this article
that the bill "wouldn't change the price at the pump today. I know that and you know that." For some strange reason, Sue Kelly was one of only three members in the entire House that didn't vote on the bill. Was it her conscience that kept her from voting on something that gives huge incentives to large oil companies and opens up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling? Or was she simply too busy doing something else? My guess is that she didn't want to be held accountable for voting in favor of something that a majority of House Republicans support, but that a majority of New Yorkers -- including moderate Republicans in the 19th CD -- are opposed to.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Fighting for our right to eat Cinnabons...
Never mind the fact that you can get to exactly five places directly by flying out of Stewart International Airport
. What's much more important -- at least to Sue -- is that you can't find any decent food in the terminal. The last time I was there, I remember being disappointed that I couldn't get a real cup of coffee, which of course, is much more important than the lack of flights. Luckily Super Sue is coming to our rescue by serving up $3 million in federal funding to make improvements to the terminal, according to this release
and this similarly-worded story
in the probing Mid-Hudson News.
In Sue's press release, Stewart President and COO Chuck Seliga said, "The money will be used to fund the ongoing expansion of the main passenger terminal. We have completed our first concession space upstairs and are now involved with adding additional concessions on the main floor." So the next time you fly from Stewart, be sure to drop Sue a note to thank her for using your tax dollars to bring in a Cinnabon
Friday, April 15, 2005
Send Sue your health bills...
Even though a respected study by Harvard Medical School found that half of all personal bankruptcies were a result of illness or medical bills, Sue Kelly decided to join her fellow Republicans in passing a huge gift to the credit card and banking industry yesterday. The bill, whose pleasant sounding name is the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Act -- after all, who's pro-abuse? -- makes it much more difficult for people to file for bankruptcy, including the more than 40 million Americans who currently lack health insurance. Kelly, who sits on the House Financial Services Committee, has long been an advocate of what she calls bankruptcy reform. Perhaps that's because she accepts oodles of money from the banking and credit card industries, as this chart
on Open Secrets shows. Or perhaps its because she doesn't know what it's like to be sick and not have health insurance. Either way, the people of NY's 19th wind up losing.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Kelly's wit and wisdom...
At a business forum yesterday hosted by the Westchester County Association, a prominent business group
whose platinum sponsors include Entergy, Sue, along with fellow house members Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey, really managed to wow the audience with lines like this: Social Security "is a huge issue" according to this article
. Thanks for stating the obvious, Sue. There was also this pearl about Indian Point, which is in the 19th CD: "We must keep them safe and secure but we also must keep them until we have a way to meet our energy needs." Perhaps it was just a coincidence that Sue used virtually the same language as that found on Indian Point's own site
. Finally, there was Sue trying to justify her about-face on cutting the deficit since she came to Congress back in 1994 as a supposed deficit-hawk and has done virtually everything in her power to contribute to the rising deficit: "When circumstances change in a business, you have to borrow money. That's what we're doing." Thanks, Sue, for explaining that to us. So can we send you our next credit card statement?
Thursday, April 07, 2005
What's Sue afraid of?
Why is Sue so reluctant to appear at a forum in Hyde Park on Social Security sponsored by the Older Women's League and other pro-women's groups like the League of Women Voters? It's not really clear, though because she didn't accept the invite, the forum is now in danger of being cancelled for lack of balance. The forum, which was set for April 9 at the FDR Library
, invited Kelly as well as Rep. John Sweeney from upstate, and Rep. Maurice Hinchey. Hinchey agreed to attend, but both Kelly and Sweeney, whose views seem to line up with President Bush's plans to make changes to Social Security turned the group down. As a result, the FDR Library, which is subject to rules governing political activities, sent a letter
to OWL's president telling the group that unless they added a pro-Bush speaker, the ability of the group to use the FDR Library would be cancelled. Sue, whose own views on Bush's plan, aren't particularly clear or at least well-pronounced, was probably trying to avoid the embarrassing situation of having to defend the Bush plan in front of a group of older women much like herself.
Friday, April 01, 2005
Working the local media...
During the Congressional recess, Sue has been busy running around the district grabbing headlines in the small weekly papers (and a few dailies) for the bounty she claims to be personally bringing to the district. Unforutnatley, many of the stories, like this story
in the Pawling News Chronicle are virtually identical to Sue's own press release
. Of course, it wasn't just the Pawling paper that printed a gently massaged version of the press release. This story
in the Mid-Hudson News is also suspiciously close to Sue's press release
on money headed to Stewart Airport. Of course, Sue doesn't seem to mind. Better that the reporters rewrite the release then ask actual questions about when (or even if) the money will actually make it here. But don't voters in NY's 19th deserve better from their local media and their local representative?