Sunday, October 22, 2006


Out with the old...

Election Day is a mere 16 days away and as the Times Herald-Record's endorsement of John Hall notes, Sue Kelly isn't just living in the past as evidenced by her hob-knobbing with President Bush's first press secretary Ari Fleischer in Dutchess County on Friday night. She embodies old thinking. Here's a snippet from their editorial:

Kelly came into Congress a dozen years ago with the Newt Gingrich-led GOP sweep and its famous "Contract With America" that promised reform of how the House of Representatives was run by Democrats. For her part, Kelly reserved the right to pick and choose on the contract, but pledged to work for "a smaller, smarter government which is more accountable to the American people." The GOP-led federal government may be many things, but smaller, smarter and more accountable are not among them. Kelly's sin is not necessarily that her vision has not been realized, but that she almost unfailingly defends what has been delivered instead.

Asked in a debate at the Record's offices about the various scandals, excessive spending and botched White House efforts in Iraq — all attributable to Republicans — Kelly insisted that's "not where my focus should be." Rather, she said, "My focus is on the 19th Congressional District. I've helped bring jobs here. I've helped to make sure our environment is safe. I've helped bring money to schools, hospitals. I've done a great deal of work for the people here. That's where the focus should be."

Sorry, congresswoman, the I've-brought-home-the-bacon argument is not enough this year. Not when Americans are demanding accountability for a costly botched war and are anxious about a federal government that seems to operate without any checks and balances. She says looking back at Iraq, on which she has supported the president, is "second-guessing." Hall more accurately describes it as "avoiding responsibility."

Ouch! The take-down is particularly sweet because the paper has endorsed Kelly repeatedly in the past. Which brings us back to Ari Fleischer. Just as Fleischer spun tales about the war in Iraq (among other things), Sue Kelly keeps spinning stories about John Hall's plans to raise taxes (among other things). If you can't get by on the facts, you have to make stuff up. And Sue Kelly is showing once again that, as the old saying goes, you are the company that you keep.

Maybe Sue missed it, but her main job as a Congresswomen is to shape and pass laws that apply to the entire United States. Most others in Congress find it possible to do that and take care of their district too. One does not preclude the other, Sue.

As far as her clout, since 1999 exactly 0 of the bills that she was primary sponsor of have made it through both the House and Senate and 106 remain in committee which GovTrack.US characterizes as exceedingly poor. (

Ari Fleischer, alleged Plame leaker--Sue really knows how to keep great company.

The GovTrack database that Bill referenced above got cut off. The correct address is GovTrack: Sue Kelly
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