Friday, December 30, 2005


Wake up, Suzy!

While we realize that Sue is in the midst of a six-week long Congressional recess and isn't due back in Washington until Jan. 31, we were more than a bit shocked to see this story about small businesses taking advantage of a special program designed to help businesses impacted by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, and not even a peep from Sue.

After all, the former florist likes to portray herself as the voice of small business and is even a ranking member on the House Small Business committee. Clearly, this is an issue that's tailor-made for her, particularly since there's probably plenty of businesses in this area that were genuinely impacted by Sept. 11.

As the article notes, millions of dollars in loans went to small businesses -- including a restaurant in Florida and a tanning salon in Nevada -- that never should have received this money. Indeed, an audit found that 85% of the loans granted under the SBA's Supplemental Terrorist Activity Relief (STAR) lacked justification for receiving these special earmarked funds.

Time to wake up, Suzy. Your district is waiting to hear from you.

Monday, December 26, 2005


Oops...she did it again....

Last month, we poked fun at Sue for sending out the same exact letter about the war in Iraq to a constituent in October as she had in late November, despite the fact that things had changed dramatically during that six weeks. Well, a month later, and Sue is still sending out the same tired letter, a letter, we'll note, that still says absolutely nothing. Here it is again, for your reading pleasure:

From: "Rep. Sue Kelly"
Date: December 22, 2005 2:31:22 PM EST
Subject: Responding to your message

December 22, 2005

Dear xyz:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns for U.S.
military action in Iraq. I appreciate having the benefit of your
views on this matter.

I appreciate your concerns on this critically important issue. As
you well know, there are many aspects of Operation Iraqi Freedom
that merit continued examination and debate. As a legislator, I
believe that a top priority must be ensuring that American soldiers
and citizens working in Iraq right now are given all necessary
support for completing their job successfully. It has been and will
continue to be a tough job for our forces and for Iraqis who are
committed to achieving a democratic, secure Iraq, but their
courageous efforts have resulted in progress: Iraq is now a
sovereign nation with the first democratically elected government
in over fifty years. That said, there remain significant challenges
ahead, and it's essential that we approach them properly. Please
know that I am committed to supporting our efforts in a way that
best protects our forces on the ground and our national security.

Once again, thank you for contacting me. Please feel free to
contact me again if I can be of any assistance in the future.


Sue Kelly
Member of Congress

Isn't it time the people of the 19th had a Representative who actually put some time and thought into an issue instead of sending out the same tired letter over and over again? Forget about the rest of us for a minute: don't the veterans and National Guard members who live in this district at least deserve better?

And remember, we're tracking these letters, so when you get one, be sure to send a copy to take19 (at)

UPDATE: One reader sent in the same exact letter from Sue that was dated June 30. Good to know our elected official is really monitoring current events and staying on top of the news!

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Cheney's own Charlie McCarthy...

We realize that the holidays are upon us and there's a strong instinct to play with toys, no matter how old you are. But Sue's comments in today's Poughkeepsie Journal seemed particularly Charlie McCarthy-esque. Indeed, it made us kind of wonder where we've heard some of those lines before.

We'll try to avoid the sexual innuendo of Sue sitting on Cheney's lap, but the comments might as well have come out of his mouth, instead of hers. A quick Google search shows just how similar -- in some cases identical -- they really are.

Here's Cheney from a CNN interview earlier this week: "Far better to have their democracy that is now in place rather than Saddam Hussein ruling and that the world is a far safer place because of it."

Now, here's what Sue said: "There's no denying it's a far better Iraq than it was under Saddam," Kelly said.

Here's Cheney again: "Leaving prematurely from Iraq will have terrible consequences."

And now Sue: "I think leaving prematurely is exactly what the terrorists want," Kelly said.

So who's pulling who's strings? And, perhaps more importantly, don't the people of the 19th deserve something better than a dummy?

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Sue says: Good fences make good neighbors!

It's hard to know where to begin with the flurry of votes Sue has been taking over the past few days as the House rushes to head off for yet another vacation. But we were particularly amused by Sue's vote (actually, make that votes) on erecting a giant fence along the border with Mexico, complete with bright lights and security cameras.

Of course, given the 19th's proximity to Mexico, what Sue really seems to be saying is that she's in favor of building a fence around Peekskill and Haverstraw and Beacon -- all cities in the 19th with large concentrations of Hispanics -- so as to keep the illegals out of more affluent towns like Garrison, Nyack and East Fishkill. For a more detailed discussion of the vote, check out this article in the WaPo, which basically says the legislation is full of holes. And as the Miami Herald notes in this story, it's really likely to piss off Hispanic voters.

But perhaps the strangest thing about Sue's vote is that it places a tremendous amount of burden on business owners -- a group she routinely claims that she cares deeply about -- by requiring them to submit their employees' Social Security numbers to a national database, presumably to make sure the SS#s are legit. Of course, business owners would have to cover the cost, which we're guessing would not be insignificant, not to mention a fair amount of hassle, to do this. So much for Small Business Sue!


Where does Single Party Rule Take Us?

This past week's revelations about the Pentagon's and administration's illegal domestic spying practices, as well as the Katrina response disaster and the epidemic of cronyism that has spred like wildfire throughout the Republican Party, has dramatically showcased the results of one party government.

This from a Washington Post Article:

In an interview last week, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, said "it's a fair comment" that the GOP-controlled Congress has done insufficient oversight and "ought to be" doing more.

"Republican Congresses tend to overinvestigate Democratic administrations and underinvestigate their own," said Davis, who added that he has tried to pick up some of the slack with his committee. "I get concerned we lose our separation of powers when one party controls both branches."

Democrats on the committee said the panel issued 1,052 subpoenas to probe alleged misconduct by the Clinton administration and the Democratic Party between 1997 and 2002, at a cost of more than $35 million. By contrast, the committee under Davis has issued three subpoenas to the Bush administration, two to the Energy Department over nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain, and one last week to the Defense Department over Katrina documents.

Some experts on Congress say that the legislative branch has shed much of its oversight authority because of a combination of aggressive actions by the Bush administration, acquiescence by congressional leaders, and political demands that keep lawmakers out of Washington more than before. (emphasis mine)

The question isn't whether or not we want a partisan's whether or not we want a functioning that has a the strong checks and balances that our forefathers intended when they crafted the Constitution, or the one we see today.

What can you do to help government function properly? Quite simply, you can help restore checks and balances and break the stranglehold the Republican Party has on governmental power by working to remove Sue Kelly from office in November, 2006.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Constitutional Crisis?

The president has just admitted he is above the law. In his radio address this morning, the President of the United States clearly challenged the authority of the Constitution of the United States by proudly stating that he repeatedly violated the laws of the land and will continue to do so.

WASHINGTON Dec 17, 2005 — President Bush said Saturday he personally has authorized a secret eavesdropping program in the U.S. more than 30 times since the Sept. 11 attacks and he lashed out at those involved in publicly revealing the program.

"This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security," he said in a radio address delivered live from the White House's Roosevelt Room.

"This authorization is a vital tool in our war against the terrorists. It is critical to saving American lives. The American people expect me to do everything in my power, under our laws and Constitution, to protect them and their civil liberties and that is exactly what I will continue to do as long as I am president of the United States," Bush said.

What the president failed to mention was that most legal experts (those who aren't under the administration's employ) as well as many in Congress agree that these activities were and are in direct violation of federal law and the Constitution.

This is a turing point in the history of our nation where the majority party in power has abandoned democracy and are attempting to establish, for all intents and purposes, a monarchy.

This hubristic maneuver must be challenged.

I call on Sue Kelly to immediately declare her position on this all important issue, and act forcefully to stop the mad powergrab that her party's leader in now attempting.

Which is it, Sue? Democracy or Monarchy?

Friday, December 16, 2005


This is Serious...

Read the Headlines:

Is the Pentagon Spying on Americans?

Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say

Bush reportedly OK'd NSA spying on Americans

Bush Authorized Domestic Spying

Not only is the Republican administration (with help from the Republican Congress) eroding our constitutional rights with the Patriot Act, they have begun a secret spying campaign on American citizens with no oversight. These measures are a direct result of power gone mad. And it's made me mad, and you should be as well.

This is a non-partisan issue. Conservatives and Liberals are Americans...Americans whose privacy deserves protection from the snooping eyes of both the private and public power interests.

SusanG at has written a great piece that all Americans should take to heart. In it, she says,

This is about the very foundations of democracy: Is the government our servant or our master? And is the president, who is elected to execute our laws, allowed to suspend them?

We are heading into an election year when every House seat will be up for grabs. It's up to us to make every race about these constitutional issues. As concerned citizens, we can urge Democratic leaders to force the argument in this direction, but there is another action we can take as individuals to make this more of a reality.

I suggest that those of us who are represented by Republicans in the House contact our representatives and get them on record over the next few weeks on three specific questions:

1. Does the president have unlimited power in a time of war, particularly an undeclared one?
2. Do you believe the government has a right to spy on its citizens with no regulating oversight?
3. Do you support a full and open Congressional investigation into the executive branch's authorization of spying on American citizens?

These questions, depending on how they are answered, may well prove to be a gift we can give to every Democratic challenger in the year ahead. It will force GOP reps to take a stand, if as constituents we don't let them get away with obfuscating. Insist on a clear-cut answer. Demand a yes or no. And keep ready at hand the letters or emails you receive back. It's time to force this issue. It's time for all of us to do our part. It's time to re-deliver this government into the hands of the people it was elected to represent.

So, Sue, what are your answers to Susan's questions?

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Good use of Time....

Can we think of a few problems the House of Representatives should be working on? Let's see:

- War in Iraq
- Runaway Federal Deficit
- Skyrocketing Health Care Costs
- Record Trade Deficits
- Loss of Manufacturing Jobs
- Congressional and Administration Corruption Investigations

Well, today, the Republican Majority in the House decided to spend some of the people's time and money to propose, debate and force a vote on a measure to protect the traditions and symbols of Christmas. Here's the vote.

Just to give you one last detail, they refused to include traditions and symbols of other religious holiday observances requested by some sane House members who tried to make some sense of the proceedings. But, no. This was to be a "Christmas Only" Resolution, because, in case you didn't get the memo, there is a "War on Christmas" going on...brought to you by the fine folks at Fox News, especially Bill O'Reilly. Well, it's a war worth fighting, because, as we all know, we just don't get enough Christmas traditions and symbols this time of year. Just today, I had to actually get all the way to the end of my driveway before I saw a Christmas symbol in my neighbor's yard.

And, of course, Sue Kelly's Party brought this useless waste of time to America.

When we replace Rep. Kelly and other like-minded, lockstepping Republican footsoldiers in the House with people who live in the real world, hopefully time will be spent dealing with the people's business instead of spending time giving people the business.


Sue prefers Viagra over Education

Your Congressional Representative, Sue Kelly, once again defied all logic and abandoned your best interests by joining the 215-213 Republican majority vote that passed the Orwellianly titled, Labor, Health & Education Spending Bill, on Wednesday.

A more apt name for this "legislation" would be the, Crime Against the Christmas Spirit Bill. Let's read some of the fine print of what is in this thing.

Background – Viagra Over Flu Preparedness

- The appropriations bill that funds education, health and worker initiatives is the largest domestic spending bill that Congress passes each year. This year’s $602 billion measure provides $142.5 billion for “discretionary” programs in 2006 – an overall cut of $163 million from 2005. GOP leaders were forced to make changes to the bill after the House rejected the initial agreement November 17th on a 209-224 vote. Twenty-two Republicans last month crossed party lines to oppose the measure. Only 12 opposed the version today.

- To pick up enough votes for adoption, the GOP increased rural health spending by $90 million and struck a provision barring Medicare coverage of erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra. They offset the cost of covering erectile dysfunction drugs by reducing overhead funding for the new Medicare prescription drug plan by $60 million and cutting $30 million from flu preparedness.

Key Provisions

- Freezes funding for home heating assistance at about $2.2 billion even though natural gas prices are expected to rise by nearly 40% and heating oil prices are expected to rise by 20% this winter. Experts have called for $5 billion in funding to meet the needs this year.

- Cuts $437 million from critical services to unemployed and displaced workers.

- Cuts funding for the President’s signature Community College Initiative in half to $125 million. The program helps train workers to meet the needs of high-growth industries such as health care and advanced manufacturing

- Cuts No Child Left Behind initiatives by $779 million.

- Cuts the Safe and Drug-Free School program by $87 million - nearly all school districts – about 14,000 – rely on this program for school safety, emergency preparedness, drug prevention, and anti-violence activities.

- Provides smallest increase for the National Institute for Health in 36 years leading to nearly 505 fewer research grants than just two years earlier.

- Eliminates the Healthy Communities Access Program (funded at $83 million last year) that makes grants to local consortia of hospitals, health centers, and other “safety net” providers to help build better integrated systems of care for uninsured and underinsured Americans.

- Cuts health professions training programs (other than those for nurses) by $153 million.

Well, if there is an outbreak of avian flu, we may not have enough vaccine, but at least we'll have enough Viagra to go around so we won't care.

This vote is part of the Republican Party's scheme to give themselves some cover for their tax cuts for the wealthiest among us. They, once again have decided to punish children, the elderly, the unemployed, and our health care system, so they may enrich their corporate and wealthy donors. Business as usual for Sue Kelly, Tom Delay and the Republican majority.

When is Sue going to start representing ALL the people of her district and not just the most powerful?

Demand an answer and, while you're at it, ask why she voted for this bill. 202-225-5441

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Meet and greet...

We interrupt our regular Sue bashing to briefly talk about who's running against her. As a group, we've met one-on-one with all five and think it's important for others in the community to start doing the same, well in advance of next year's elections. Tomorrow night (12/15), they'll all be in Peekskill at the Peekskill Democratic City Committee meeting that begins at 7 p.m. Though their presentations will be brief, I'm sure all five will be talking about why Sue has been such a failure for the 19th CD. The meeting will be in a community room at the Field Library. Directions are here.

And yes...we know it's really really cold out. So be sure to stop at the wonderful Peekskill Coffee House on the way to the meeting and pick up some java. Brave the weather. Forget about holiday shopping. And show these five candidates that this district can be taken back next fall.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Who's she kidding?

A fellow blogger points us toward The Counterterrorism Blog which has a copy of a letter that Sue sent to President Bush just last week about her serious concerns over Saudia Arabia and terror financing.

But here's the thing: does she really expect Bush -- a man known for executive summaries -- to read an 11 page letter, including a full page in Arabic? Or is it just more posturing on Sue's part, making it seem like she's doing something when she's really doing nothing?

Monday, December 12, 2005


It's Time to Clean House...

"Why," you may ask. Let me recap some recent headlines concerning how the present GOP majority machinery (of which Sue Kelly is a willing cog) "governs" in Washington, D.C.

Let's begin our travelogue with former congressman Duke Cunningham of San Diego, California. As reported in Newsday:

SAN DIEGO -- Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham resigned his office today after pleading guilty to fraud, conspiracy to commit bribery and tax evasion in a political corruption case.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns accepted the pleas from Cunningham, 63, including the congressman's admission in federal court that he had accepted bribes in exchange for performance of his official duties.

Accepted bribes, huh? hhhmmm. Let's keep that in mind and move along to the recently indicted Jack Abramoff, the K Street Boy Wonder GOP lobbyist who has doled out Native American Tribal money and Corporate Crony Cash like it was candycorn on exchange for, well, er, "favors." Two of his closest associates, Michael Scanlon and Adam Kidan, have both pleaded guilty to all sorts of nasty backroom wheeling and dealing. Abramoff may soon find the heat in the kitchen unbearable, and strike his own deal with the Justice Department. If he does, there are reportedly dozens of GOP House members who will be sweating bullets and returning lots of campaign and PAC money they received from Abramoff and Co. Among those who are already mentioned in the scandal are Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH), Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) and former Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed.

Stay tuned for what may be the largest pay-for-play Congressional Scandal in the past 100 years.

Not to be undone by mere House members, Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, has his own probe going. This one is by the SEC over Frist's stock holdings and potential insider trading allogations...and, oh yes, the obligatiory lying about it.

Now the Executive Branch is also in on the act. You've undoutedly heard about Scooter Libby's trouble with the truth and the FBI and the Justice Department, and "Bush's Brain," Karl Rove, is in legal jeopardy regarding his testimony about outing a CIA undercover agent for political purposes during a time of war.

But all this is just a lead-up to the star of the House, Tom Delay, the FORMER GOP House Majority Leader, best friend of Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed (previously mentioned) and arguably the most powerful man in Washington, due to his iron fisted grip on the GOP campaign cash machine. He has been indicted on money laundering charges in Texas. Do I really need to tell you about Tom Delay?

At this point, you may be saying, "Wow, NYBri, that's pretty bad. What can we here in the Hudson Valley do about all this?"

A lot. First of all, get involved in this effort to replace Sue Kelly in Congress and, by doing so, say NO MORE to the corruption of one party, majority rule in Washington. You see, Sue has taken Tom Delay's dirty money (more than any other NY State GOP Rep.) and hasn't returned it. As a matter of fact, she has shown incredible loyalty to the Republican Party Line, voting to stick her nose in the Terry Schiavo case, voting to cut taxes for the top 1% while voting to cut funding for student loans, medicare, food stamps and housing to pay for the tax cuts, voting to go to war in Iraq along with its 240 billion in appropriation funds....essentially voting however the GOP leadership has told her to vote. Some say she is a better representative for Tom Delay and Big Donor Cash than she is for the people of New York's Nineteenth district.

Yes, it's time to clean House. If you think the country is headed in the wrong direction, do something about it. Roll up your sleeves and dig in. We've got a lot of work to do.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Au contraire...

It seems like lots of people took exception to the NY Times story two weeks ago that called Sue "the voice of conscience" on Indian Point, judging by the long list of letters that ran today. And judging by people who were contacted by the Times to confirm their letters, there were many more that didn't wind up in print. Indeed, one letter writer said the editor told him that they had received more letters on this article than on just about anything else.

For the most part, the letters said that whatever Sue has done so far on Indian Point has basically amounted to window dressing. So while she thinks she's fooling people into thinking she's doing something, the people who live in her district know what's really going on.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Bait and switch....

While Sue is busy taking credit for the House extending middle class exemptions from the Alternative Minimum Tax, even though she was one of 33 co-sponsors and the bill passed by the lopsided vote count of 414 to 4, she's not exactly spending a lot of time talking about some of her other votes, particularly those that passed by much tighter margins.

Among those was her vote yesterday to extend $56 billion worth of tax cuts on capital gains and dividends through 2010, largely paid for by a vote Sue took just before the Thanksgiving break to cut $50 billion in federal student loan programs, Medicaid and child support enforcement. If Sue does decide to tout this vote, she'll no doubt talk about how this helps people save for retirement, despite the fact that the vast majority of people who save for retirement (via IRAs and 401-K plans) do so tax-free. A plan to limit the tax cuts to people making $500K or less (or $1 million for joint filers), which certainly seems reasonable to us, was defeated with Sue's help.

We also missed Sue taking credit for this vote earlier this week that basically told people struggling with hefty home heating bills to tough it out. The bill, which Sue voted against, would have doubled the amount of money available for home heating assistance. Perhaps Sue was thinking that all of that savings from capital gains and dividends would help heat people's houses this winter.

Over at the Daily Kos, someone has started posting pictures of various House members and the words: "I voted to starve poor children and increase the federal deficit." Sue's picture is already up there, but somehow we don't think Sue will be touting that either.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Weather forecast: Lots of hot air

This week, while still on her "working" vacation, Sue sounded an alarm about supposed changes to weather monitoring at Stewart Airport. In a letter that she sent to the FAA, Sue made it sound like pilots were flying blind through blizzards, without the benefit of an accurate forecast. Here's an excerpt:

“This development poses an unacceptable safety risk and I request that you remedy the situation immediately. Weather services are critical to any airport, including Stewart, and their loss poses an unnecessary and unacceptable threat to passenger safety.”

The only problem is that there is no problem with the weather service at Stewart, as this brief in Friday's Poughkeepsie Journal noted. The so-called problem, which lasted overnight, was fixed by Oct. 4, which should have given Sue more than enough time to check her facts before sounding the alarm. Then again, it is a "working" vacation so she has to make it seem like she's doing something.

Still, doesn't the mid-Hudson Valley deserve something better than a bunch of hot air from their Representative in Congress?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?