Monday, October 31, 2005


Have an opinion?

If you have an opinion -- one way or the other -- about President Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court, you're one step ahead of Sue Kelly. While Conservatives are celebrating and liberals are in a state of mourning, Sue is amazingly opinion-free.

In a short article in today's Hudson Valley News, Kelly managed to avoid giving any sense of her opinion on Bush's decision to choose Alito. That's not only different from just about every other politician asked today, but it's also more than a bit difficult to believe.

Then again, anyone who's received a letter from Sue knows that she (or at least her staff) has mastered the art of saying absolutely nothing. Indeed, one could argue that has been a key part of her continued success: making conservatives think she's on their side and convincing moderate voters she's one of them.

One more interesting tidbit about the Supreme Court and Sue: she actually seems to believe that Harriet Miers' decision to withdraw her name was her own choice. And the bear Mountain bridge is being sold to make way for waterfront condos.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Sue takes aim at non-profits...

When it comes to a particular issue, it's practically impossible to find one that over 500 non-partisan, non-profit groups -- from the AIDS Institute to the YWCA -- can agree on. But yesterday, they all managed to agree that an amendment passed as part of a piece of legislation called the Housing Reform Act, was unconstitutional and needed to be defeated.

Among the groups spearheading the effort to defeat the legislation, which if approved by the Senate, would prohibit non-profit groups from engaging in such non-partisan events as voter registration, was the League of Women Voters, a group best-known for sponsoring voter registration and various debates. Here's what that super-radical group had to say about the legislation, which like some of the more controversial laws passed by the House this year eked through with a very narrow margin of 210 to 205. The vote was so close because 13 Republicans crossed party lines.

So how did Sue vote? Was she one of the 13? Not a chance. Once again, this so-called moderate sided with the more radical wing of her party, despite the fact that 2 of those 13 Republicans who crossed were from New York. Another Republican who decided that the League of Women Voters voter registration drives weren't a serious threat, Mark Kennedy of Minnesota, had this to say about the legislation that passed. What does Sue have to say? Who knows?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Picture perfect...

A quick thank you to the nice folks at NYSRPA who just posted this lovely photo of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre practically hugging Sue Kelly. Though they didn't bother to put a caption on the photo or say when or where it was taken, we'll assume it was recently, judging by Sue's new youthful appearance. At least we now know why Sue doesn't seem to have the time to meet with her constituents. She's way too busy kissing up to powerful Washington lobbyists.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Voting for the NRA...

Earlier today, Sue voted for the "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" which as the National Rife Association noted in this press release handed the NRA a "historic victory". No less than "freedom truth and justice prevailed" as a result of the vote, the NRA boasted.

So what does this "historic victory" really mean? It essentially prevents gun manufacturers from being held responsible when guns -- even those purchased illegally, like the majority of guns used in crimes here in the 19th -- wind up in the hands of gang members. The NRA's Chief Lobbyist, Chris Cox (no relation to former Rep. Chris Cox who now heads the SEC) waxed poetic on the victory: "We are a safer country today because Congress passed this critical legislation and acted to save American icons like Remington, Ruger, Winchester and Smith & Wesson from politically motivated lawsuits. Our men and women in uniform abroad and at home now will not have to rely on France, China or Germany to supply their firearms,” Cox added.

We wish we were making this hyperbole up. Imagine the horror of West Point cadets being forced to carry inferior Chinese guns! But unfortunately, Sue fell hook line and sinker for the NRA's argument.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Tuesday is for mulligans!

Got a regular job? You know...the type most of us need to pay our mortgages? Then chances are you won't be joining Sue as she tees off Tuesday around 10 a.m. -- a time of day when most people are actually at work.

Of course, you'd need more than a flexible job to join Sue on Tuesday: just like the breakfast she had with a bunch of well-heeled bankers on Oct. 6, the mid-day golf outing requires a sizable contribution to Sue's campaign coffers. Still, at least Sue's cash-cow breakfast gave people who attended a chance to get in some office time as opposed to a golf game that starts at 10 and probably lasts until 2 p.m.

Now, since Sue plans to play golf when she should be busy working, we hope she'll at least share her score with the folks who are paying her salary.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Sue's hat trick...

Those of us who spend our winters here in the 19th CD are bracing for higher heating bills, no matter what we use to heat our homes: oil, natural gas, propane or electric. They're all expected to be significantly higher. And that, on top of $3 a gallon gas, is likely to put a dent in many folks' wallets this fall and winter. Indeed, retailers are already worried that folks won't be in a mood to buy because they'll be too concerned about the high cost of heating their homes and filling up their tanks.

One would hope that our Representative in Congress would be sensitive to these particularly suburban issues: few of us can really get anywhere without our cars and shivering all winter is not healthy for our kids. But on Friday, Sue proved -- with three separate votes -- that she's more in tune with Republican leaders than her own suburban voters. On an energy bill passed by a narrow margin of 212-210, Sue voted with the Republican majority even though 13 Republicans crossed party lines. Almost all of those who crossed, including Christopher Shays from nearby Connecticut, seem to understand that something needs to be done about high heating bills. But the legislation does absolutely nothing to address this problem.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Sue also voted against legislation that would expand the number of people who qualify for the federal Home Energy Assistance Program and also voted against a proposal that would impose severe fines on companies that engage in price-gouging.

Even worse is that Sue sounded very concerned about energy issues in a brief interview that ran last week in the Putnam County Courier where Sue told a reporter that the country needed to come up with a sound energy policy. So she said the right thing to a local reporter, but in the space of a few hours back in DC, she managed to make things easier for price gougers, while making life harder for the people she supposedly represents.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Breakfast of champions?

Apparently, the cost of eggs has gone up -- way up -- judging by a fundraising breakfast set for tomorrow in Washington DC that promises to raise oodles of money for Sue. Though we weren't invited to the event, which begins at 8:30 tomorrow morning, the NRCC's calendar (scroll down to Oct. 6) notes that tickets cost as much as $2,500 a pop. Bargain tickets can be had for a mere $1,000.

In addition to Sue, who is the guest of honor at the "Financial Services Industry" breakfast, other speakers include Fox news anchor Ed Hill and a former strategist for Vice President Dick Cheney who now works as a DC lobbyist and which a quick Google search reveals had some curious ties to Enron. Also on the list are lobbyists for some of the nation's largest banks, including Bank of America and Citibank.

We're sure that it's purely coincidental that all of these bankers want to plunk down $2,500 for eggs with Sue and that it has nothing to do with her role as Vice Chairman of the House Committee for Financial Services. As for us, we'll be having breakfast tomorrow at the Lexus Diner in Newburgh, where the eggs are considerably cheaper.

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