Thursday, September 29, 2005


Give it back!

Now that Tom DeLay has been indicted twice by a Texas Grand Jury, we think it's high time for Sue to return the more than $12,000 she accepted from his Political Action Committee, ARMPAC. Sue, by the way, who claims to be a moderate, received the second largest contribution of New York's Congressional delegation. Only John Kuhl from NY's 29th CD received more money from DeLay. Perhaps that's why Sue has voted with DeLay so consistently -- more than 90 percent of the time over the past 18 months. There's also the fact that Sue initially voted to change the rules of the House -- rules that would allow an indicted leader like DeLay to keep their leadership position -- and then reversed course after Republicans realized that changing those rules didn't look so good after all.

Why not send Sue an email and tell her that the people in NY's 19th don't want her accepting money from an indicted felon? While you're at it, send another letter to the Poughkeepsie Journal, Times Herald-Record or Westchester's Journal-News and tell them you think the people of the 19th deserve better than this!

Thursday, September 22, 2005


How delightful!

We already know about 4 or 5 Dems who are interested in taking on Sue Kelly this year. But this article in today's issue of The Hill reveals that there's also a Republican looking to take her on too.

According to the article, Jeff Cook, who was the former national field director of the Log Cabin Republicans, a pro-Republican, pro-gay rights group, has formed an exploratory committee. Cook may only be 26, but he seems to have mastered the Washington bluster: "If the Republican Party is unwilling to stand up to the trappings and the temptations of big government, then who will? We’ve got to have a dividing line. There's got to be a party to stand up for the taxpayer."

Is there anything more delightful than Sue having to prove her conservative bona fides to her base while at the same time trying to fool moderates into thinking that she's one of them? We don't think so. We can only hope that young Cook continues to explore.

UPDATE: Here's the PoJo's take on Cook's explorations. Particularly interesting is the lame response a Kelly spokesman emailed to the paper about how hard Kelly was working for people in Dutchess County and that she didn't have time to "focus on politics". Uh-huh. Earlier in the week in this story in the Times Herald-Record, a spokesman emailed a similar comment. Except this time Kelly was too busy working for the good folks in Orange County to play politics. Here's the real question though: what exactly is Kelly too busy doing? What legislation? What hearings? What tangible things can she actually point to?

Friday, September 16, 2005


Their money's still green...

When it comes to money, payday lenders and check cashing firms are like vultures. They feed off of low income people who can't afford a regular bank account, charging high fees to provide basic financial services. Given the demographics in NY's 19th, there's not a lot of these businesses in the district. Indeed, payday lenders are effectively prohibited from operating in New York because the state considers it a crime to charge over 25% for interest and the typical payday lending shop charges 300% or more.

So what is Sue doing accepting money from a group that lobbies on behalf of payday lenders? According to, Sue recently accepted a $5,000 contribution from FiSCA for the 2006 election. In exchange, Sue's set to speak at their upcoming convention next Sunday at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square.

We're assuming that the quid pro quo has something to do with Sue's prominence on the House Financial Services Committee. But given the lack of payday lenders in NY's 19th, it still seems a bit unseemly to us.

One final note: many of these businesses actively pursue members of the military, sending them into a debt spiral as they struggle to keep up with the hefty fees. That makes FiSCA's gift to Sue seem at odds with her professed love for a strong military.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Sue wonders: what if?

Given FEMA's bang-up job in bringing disaster relief to the Gulf Coast -- an emergency that has been predicted and that emergency officials have been practicing for -- it's a bit scary to think about how they might handle something that they weren't anticipating, like an attack on Indian Point.

Now even Sue is beginning to ask questions. Last week, she issued this press release calling on FEMA to meet with officials in the neighboring counties to talk about their disaster preparedness.

Sue's office didn't release a copy of the letter, so it's hard to tell exactly how strongly it was worded. Judging by her namby-pamby letters to constituents (we're still collecting them), we're betting not too strongly. Still, now that FEMA head Michael Brown isn't calling the shots on the Gulf Coast, perhaps he has some time in his busy schedule to talk to Sue about how things would be done differently here.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


Happy talk about gas prices...

Curious as to why gas prices could spike so suddenly, within hours of a storm? So are we, as we filled up our car last Tuesday morning -- less than 12 hours after Hurricane Katrina struck -- for $2.89 a gallon. The price was 15 cents higher than the day before, even though it was theoretically impossible that the gas we pumped that morning had been impacted by the storm. That's because there's a bit of a lag between the time gas is refined in the Gulf of Mexico and comes out of gas pumps in the Hudson Valley.

Of course, now that gas is well over $3 a gallon, that $2.89 gas seems cheap. Still, it's no easier coughing up $50 to fill up a Camry, roughly twice as much as it cost last Labor Day. This sudden spike is prompting at least some people, like neighboring Congressman Maurice Hinchey to ask some probing questions. In this story in the Mid-Hudson News, Hinchey accused oil companies of exploiting the situation. But not Sue. Sue claimed -- it's almost hard to write this with a straight face -- that gas prices were stabilizing. Uh-huh.

Perhaps if she says it enough times -- like Dorothy clicking her heels to go back to Kansas -- it just might happen. But those of us who live in the real world are forced to dig a little deeper into our pockets.

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