Monday, February 27, 2006


Follow the Money III - This Bud's For Sue

First, we'll admit it: we like beer. We like beer in all its varieties; like a frosty mug of crisp, cold American draft; a bottle of Mexican with a lime wedge; a dark German with a good head. So, don’t get us wrong, we like beer.

However, the beer industry has been behind some of the most regressive legislation coming out of Washington. Legislation that’s really hurting consumers, little guys, the middle class – just about everyone in the NY 19th CD.

Let’s follow the money and do some homework. First stop…the National Beer Wholesalers Association (“Big Beer”). They have a website, and they have a PAC. (I bet you know where we’re going with this, because where there’s a PAC, there are campaign “contributions.” aka. “bribes” in some circles)

Let’s check out Big Beer’s website and see what legislation they might be pushing. Credit them for this: they make no secret about what they want.

Big Beer:

- pushed hard for the disastrous tax cuts for the rich that have shifted the tax burden to the middle class and thrown the federal budget totally out of whack.
Permanency of Death Tax Repeal
Capital Gains Tax

- favored gutting workplace safety rules and neutering OSHA.
OSHA Ergonomics Regulations

- opposed federal drunk-driver legislation.
National .08 BAC Standard

- opposes compulsory bottle-recycling and deposit legislation.
Recycling Legislation

- wants lobbying expenditures to be tax-subsidized.
Lobbying Deductibility

If you have any doubt why these ideas are bad for America, bad for the 19th District and bad for you, read. If you’ve already got that figured out, then just skip ahead.

The Estate Tax (which Frank Luntz, the Republican phrase-maker, so cleverly renamed the “Death Tax”), originally had two purposes: First, like all taxes, it was a way of raising money to pay for the things that we want our government to do for us. Second, it was a steeply progressive tax, meaning that most people, including all of the poor and the middle class, weren’t affected by it at all. The tax didn’t kick in unless an estate was worth over a million dollars. Contrary to the Republican and FAUX NEWS spin, this tax had no adverse impact on family farms and small family businesses, because the exemption was so high. (Also, Democrats in Congress proposed to make the Estate Tax even more farm and small business friendly, but those proposals weren't allowed to make it to the floor). So it was only a tax on REALLY BIG money. As such, another of its purposes was to encourage the wealthy to spread their cash around while they are alive, and discourage the concentration of wealth to pass on from from generation to generation which results in a permanent royalty class. This tax was good for the economy, good for the little guy, and good for the country.

But Big Beer, the Washington lobby of the beer industry – this is not your mom-and-pop package store, this is the lobbyist for the guys mom-and-pop have to buy from -- supports the Republican majority who are bankrupting the government by cutting the taxes on the wealthiest Americans, leaving the government without the money needed to pay for the stuff we need – like health care, education, body armor for our kids in Iraq.

In 2001, President Bush pushed through a package of tax cuts that eliminated most of the taxes on his real base, the wealthiest 1% of Americans. (How much was YOUR tax cut?) To make it seem affordable, he proposed that the tax cuts should be temporary and would expire in 2011. Now, as we all know, Bush has wrecked the Clinton balanced-budget, blown through the Clinton surpluses, and, with an assist from our own Sue Kelly, has rung up the biggest deficit in US history. Part of that disaster was the repeal of the Estate Tax. But Big Beer wanted to make those cuts permanent, quick, before their guys were run out of Washington on a rail.

Capital gains tax, is another tax aimed mainly at a very narrow percentage of the population....mainly people who don't work for a living. Already lower than the tax rates on earned income – i.e. lower than the tax rates on your paycheck – the Bush administration – and Sue Kelly – decided to make the tax rates on the folks who collect from their broker instead of their employer even lower, which is just what Big Business, and Big Beer, said they wanted. Don’t worry about paying for government services, Sue, you don’t really serve the folks who need’em.

Workplace Safety. During the Clinton administration, OSHA enacted new regulations to promote workplace safety, and workers’ health. Big Business, like Big Beer, opposed the Clinton agenda of protecting workers and making the workplace safer. So, in March 2001, Sue Kelly voted along with the Republican majority to repeal those safety regulations, and prevent OSHA from acting to protect workers from job-related injuries. Remember the miners in West Virginia, anyone? Compassionate, huh? But that’s what Big Business, and Big Beer, wanted, and that’s what they got. Thanks, Sue, for selling out your constituents' health and safety.

Highway Safety. You’d think that the folks who are responsible for moving beer around on those huge trucks would care about highway safety, right? But they want to prevent the federal government from setting a drunk-driver blood alcohol standard and prevent the federal government from requiring that those beer truck drivers from having to be properly licensed to drive trucks on highways. Why? Ask Sue.

Deductions for Lobbying. Do you have to ask? You don’t get a deduction for trying to influence legislation. Why should Big Beer? But that's exactly what they want, and they want Sue's help.

And why would Sue Kelly aid and abet this insanity with her support for all of Big Beer’s positions?

Let's play: Follow The Money

It seems supporting Big Beer has been good for Sue Kelly's campaign coffers. How good? Well, in the last 4 election cycles, Sue Kelly has received more than $42,000 from Big Beer’s PAC, another $10,000 from the Anheuser-Busch PAC, another $5,000 from Heineken’s PAC, and even more from the other PACS that receive beer PAC contributions. Let's visit the FEC website and take a look at those contributions:

Why does Sue love Big Beer and why does Big Beer love Sue? All you have to do is Follow The Money.

Sue, this Bud's for you.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


How low will she go?

For months, Take 19 has been asking Sue to return Tom DeLay's dirty money -- the more than $12,000 she has taken from the now indicted former House majority leader. But our requests seem to have fallen on death ears.

Which is why the last sentence in a North County News article (no link available) this week caught our attention. Sue's spokesman -- the very same Kevin Callahan who keeps insisting that Kelly isn't campaigning yet -- had this to say about Kelly's gift from DeLay: "There haven't been any legal problems with ARMPAC."

Though we added the emphasis, the quote is exactly as it appeared in the paper. Which kind of makes us wonder: are Sue's standards really that low that she'll take money from anyone, even someone facing a federal indictment? Indeed, Callahan's answer sounds downright Clintonian. If only he had said, it depends on what the meaning of the word illegal is.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


On the Environment Kelly Gets a Failing Grade

It's one thing for a Congresswoman to come home to her district and circulate environmentally friendly press releases and photo-op pictures, and quite another to actually have an environmentally friendly voting record in Washington, DC. These contradictory actions constitute business-as-usual for Sue Kelly.

You see, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), the political voice of the national environmental movement and the only organization devoted full-time to shaping a pro-environment Congress and White House, has given Representative Sue Kelly an abysmal 17% ranking in its 2005 scorecard.

While Kelly's colleagues to the South and West, Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Congressman Maurice Hinchey, each received high marks (94% and 89% respectively), the LCV scorecard shows Sue Kelly at the very bottom of the list when it comes to the New York Congressional delegation and their support for the environment. Kelly has a long record of being on the wrong side of environmental issues. In 1995, after campaigning as a staunch environmentalist, Kelly voted for the so-called Clean Water Act, which made huge revisions to the original Clean Water Act of 1972. Pushed by the right-wing Congressional leadership, the bill eased dozens of pollution controls for industries and cities and repealed federal protections for most of the nation’s wetlands. In 2005, Kelly did not vote on an alternative energy plan that would bring immediate relief to consumers at the pump, increase the nation’s investment into renewable fuels and energy efficiency and crack down on price gouging. The measure called on the President to suspend deliveries to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and put the oil on the marketplace, which in 2000 brought down gasoline prices by 14 cents per gallon and crude oil prices by $6 per barrel.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


For the Record...

While it was interesting to pick up the paper -- okay, the online version -- this morning and read this article about Sue's lackeys trying to sabotage the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, by making numerous changes to her profile, we need to clear the air about one thing: Take19 was not involved in the so-called edit war. One member made one change. We did, however, monitor the rapid-fire changes by Sue's online henchmen and we will admit to sending one of Sue's stooges a little love note encouraging them to stop this childish behavior post haste.

We realize the whole Internets thing (to borrow a phrase from W) is new to some folks, so here's a little lesson: Take19 is fact-based opinion. Wiki is just facts. If you want to spin Sue, go somewhere else. Don't mess with the Wiki, because we're watching.

Monday, February 20, 2006


Sue's hypocritical words...

As this blog notes, Sue has gone on the record and taken a strong stand about how the very fabric of our Democracy comes unraveled when the President lies. Here's what Sue had to say on the floor of the House:

Perhaps we would all best be guided by the words of Edmund Burke who, in a speech to the Electors of Bristol on November 3, 1774 said,

`Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.'

Certainly, the President has the same right as everyone else to the equal and unfettered protection of our judicial system. This process we undergo today is about whether we will ever again be able to honestly say to ourselves and to our children that we live in a country where no one is above the law.

I still believe in that country. It's not a perfect country. Unfortunately, there is hypocrisy, there is dishonesty, there is evasion of laws. These things surely exist in that country I believe in.

But if by our actions today we sanction hypocrisy, if by our vote we ratify dishonesty, if by our vote we permit evasion of laws at the very highest level of our Government, then we will have forevermore surrendered the thing that makes us uniquely American--a free, yet legal, society.

Unfortunately, these words date back to December 1998, when the House was voting to impeach Bill Clinton. But now that the proverbial shoe is on the other foot and now that we're talking about something much more serious than a married man lying about an affair, like lying about the reasons for going to war and spying on US citizens, what does Sue have to say? Absolutely nothing!

Isn't it time for the people of the 19th to fire Sue Kelly? Indeed, why not tell the folks in your local community how you really feel about Sue? You can now order a t-shirt or get a bumper sticker with "Fire Sue Kelly" here.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Dazed and confused...

Don't you hate when you dash off an email only to realize seconds later that you just sent something embarrassing to the wrong person? It happens to the best of us, including, apparently, Sue Kelly, who sent this letter to someone who had contacted Sue about her disturbing vote to cut $12.7 billion from federal student loans.

From: "Rep. Sue Kelly"
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 10:04:22 -0500
Subject: Responding to your message

February 16, 2006

Dear Mr. X:

Thank you for contacting me with your support for protecting our
2nd Amendment rights.

I share your strong support for our rights under the 2nd
Amendment. We both know that the answer to violence in our
society will not be found through the expansion of firearms laws.
It's a bigger problem than that, and it's inappropriate for the issue
to be oversimplified by an exclusive focus on new regulations,
especially those which may fail to acknowledge our Constitutional

Since coming to Congress, I have consistently supported
legislation to protect the rights of law-abiding American's to bear
arms. H.R. 47, the Citizens' Self-Defense Act, effectively
reiterates that Constitutional privilege and is currently pending in
the House Committee on Judiciary. Please know that I will keep
our strong, mutual thoughts in mind if this measure comes before
me on the House floor for a vote. Thanks again for contacting me.


Sue Kelly
Member of Congress

As it turns out, this particular constituent is in favor of stronger gun control laws, so Sue's accidental email was particularly enlightening. But it's just another example of how Sue says different things to different people. Perhaps Sue has too much on her plate. It must be all that non-campaigning -- like the eight press releases she issued this past week -- that her spokesman says she's been doing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Let's Play: Follow The Money, Part II

Today’s game is brought to you by the letters “A, B, and C", and today's information is brought to you by take19 reader, "Spotlight."

Fact: the recently passed GOP-created Bankruptcy Bill favored banks, other lenders, and credit card companies, while hurting small businesses and consumers...badly.

Question: Why did Sue Kelly vote for this awful bill (the banks and credit card companies) while turning her back on the people of the 19th District (her own constituents)?

Principle? Ethics? or perhaps Money?

We should check in with the FEC Website to see if we can find the answer.

You remember from last time, click on the document to enlarge.

Let's Play

Now, go to the FEC website. This is what you'll find:

Fill in the information as shown...2005-2006, Kelly, New York, House, 19, Republican, Incumbent. Then click "send query," and you'll be shown the one-line report that tells you about Sue’s net receipts of $893,715 through the end of 2005:

Now, click on “Sue Kelly” at the left side of the report line, to get to her summary statement.

Click on “Non-Party (e.g. PACs) and other Committees”, and this comes up:

Now, remember, we're looking for the reason why Sue Kelly, who represents the PEOPLE of New York's 19th District, would cast a vote for a bill that unarguably helps BANKS AND CREDIT CARD COMPANIES who are NOT in her district...a bill that is intended to inflict financial pain on many families who live in her District, who own homes in her district, who raise children in her district, who pay taxes in her district and expect their representative to be their eyes, ears and voice in the hallowed halls of the People's House in Washington, DC.

So, the first thing we look for here is, obviously, MONEY. BIG MONEY...and, I think we've just found it. Easy as ABC. Let's look at the financial services companies that begin with those first three letters and see what we find.

The letter "A" has given Sue 10,500 reasons to vote against the people she serves:


Their bribe was for $3000 in 2005 alone, in three installments.


They played for $5000 in two installments in 2005.


Sue is into them for $2,500 for the 2005 contribution cycle in two installments.

The letter "B" supplies another 13,500 reasons for Sue to vote with her wallet.


Jackpot. They buy momma a brand new pair of shoes with a whopping $13,500 in five big payouts.

The letter "C" makes 10,500 arguments for Sue to hurt families in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Orange Counties.


These guys are in for $2,500 in three easy payments.


$2000 in two checks made out to Sue Kelly.


WHAT? Only $1000 bucks? Get my campaign manager on the phone. These guys aren't going to get into see Tommy Dee if they don't cough up some more scratch.


Countrywide is on Sue's side for $1000.


The Suisse are in for $2000.


Even the credit unions pay to play with $2000 in two installments.

So to tally up the ABCs...only three letters and for 2005 ONLY...that's $34,500.

Before we leave the financial services alphabet let's go to the letter "F" for a particularly devious PAC called:


They are into Sue for $5000 reasons in 2005.

I bring this outfit up because these are the folks who bring you high interest payday loans, a type of loan that is illegal in New York State because of the high interest rates they charge. Loan Sharks. And, indeed Ms. Kelly gets an "F" for her vote.

You could run the entire alphabet, if you like, finishing up with WACHOVIA ($2500), WASHINGTON MUTUAL ($2000), and ZURICH HOLDING COMPANY ($2500)...and I know you'll find about 100,000 reasons why Sue Kelly voted against the mothers, fathers, and children of the Hudson Valley, and for financial interests that don't even call the 19th District home.

Friends and neighbors, meet the REAL SUE KELLY.

Monday, February 13, 2006


The 2006 Congressional Election: By the Numbers

I know this is a site dedicated to removing the ineffective and damaging representation of Sue Kelly from Washington, but Bloomberg has an interesting article about how the national race is shaping up, which does have inplications on the local level. More on that after the quote.

They cite some national poll numbers (they don't look good for Republicans) and they print a GOP spin-a-whirl response.

Disapproving Bush

A poll this month by the Pew Center for People and the Press found 50 percent of registered voters planning to vote Democratic this fall, with 41 percent intending to vote Republican. The Feb. 1-5 survey of 1,502 adults had a margin of error of 4 percentage points. Respondents to an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll preferred a Democratic Congress by a margin of 47 percent to 38 percent. The Jan. 26-29 poll of 1,011 adults had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Forti of the Republican congressional committee said voters aren't going to oust their House members merely because they belong to the same party as an indicted lawmaker.

"They're voting for a person they've developed a relationship with over the years," Forti said. "Democrats have to make an argument on why that person needs to be fired beyond the fact that they're a Republican."

Here's where it gets local:

So, we "aren't going to oust their House members merely because they belong to the same party as an indicted lawmaker."

Well, would we oust our House member if they accepted buckets of cash from the indicted lawmaker, voted lock-step to do the indicted lawmaker's bidding and refuse to return the money when the indicted lawmaker gets...well...indicted for money laundering, of all things?

And as far "Democrats have to make an argument on why that person needs to be fired beyond the fact that they're a Republican," goes, I'll challenge you to make a few arguments as to why our Republican needs to be fired.

Anyone care to begin?

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Let's Play: Follow The Money

Earlier, we noted that Sue Kelly raises more campaign cash from PACs than she does from people, and far more than she does from actual constituents here in the 19th Congressional District. Wouldn’t you just love to know what kind of PACs she takes money from, and how she’s helped their pet causes?

So would we, so it's time to play, Follow The Money, or, Who's Sue's Daddy?"

Here are the rules, and if we all play nice, we can all be winners:

1. Go to the official website of the Federal Elections Commission, and look up Sue’s latest campaign finance report. Look over her list of PAC contributors.

2. Pick a PAC, look ‘em up, and see what you find.

3. When you find one that’s really fun (or disturbing) report the results of your search by dropping us an email at take19(at)

4. The best entries simply get the satisfaction that you’ve done something for your country.

5. We all win!

To get you started, let's do one together. (We'll include photos of actual screenshots as we go along. Click on the photos to enlarge).

Let's Play!

First, go to that FEC website. This is what you'll find:

Fill in the information as shown...2005-2006, Kelly, New York, House, 19, Republican, Incumbent. Then click "send query," and you'll be shown the one-line report that tells you about Sue’s net receipts of $893,715 through the end of 2005:

Now, click on “Sue Kelly” at the left side of the report line, to get to her summary statement.

Now you can see that more than half of her receipts were from “Non-Party (e.g. PACs) and other Committees”. To see which PACs love Sue, just click on “Non-Party (e.g. PACs) and other Committees”, and see what comes up!

MY GOODNESS, there are a lot of them. So many to investigate. And a lot of them seem to have her on an allowance...with checks coming two, three, four times a year! Nice work, if you can get it.

Look at all those banking and credit bureau PACs coughing up the dough. Can anyone spell BANKRUPTCY BILL? So that's the going rate for a "yes" vote on a terrible piece of legislation. Pretty cheap considering how much the bill is costing Hudson Valley families.

But, we digress. Let's take a look at the non-industry PACS. These guys turn out to be money-bundlers who, in effect, raise money from folks and then give it to Sue, so the folks who really gave it don’t show up on Sue’s reports. Like who, for instance? Let's pick"Every Republican Is Crucial" (ERICPAC) sounds interesting.

ERICPAC happens to be the creation of Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor, who also happens to be a close associate of...drumroll, please...TOM DELAY. His name just keeps popping up, doesn't it?

Let's give that a click:

Let's click on "Contributions received by this candidates committee."

Whoa...RJ Reynolds and Altria show up...a lot. Tobacco money, huh? Wonder what they want and why would Sue want to hide their names from public eyes? Bet you won't hear a single reference to those contributions in any of her campaign speeches.

Let's hit the back button and then click on the "individuals" who give to ERICPAC.

WOW..lots's of folks. Hundreds of them want to give to Congressman Cantor's "Every Republican is Crucial" PAC.

Now, we note the names, Edwin Buckham, Daniel Gans and Allison Shulman. Let's click those:

Why did we choose these folks? They all are members of a group called the Alexander Strategy Group. Now what the heck is that? Well, let's be good search monkeys and check in with wickopedia and see what they have to say:

Can you read that?

The Alexander Strategy Group (ASG), a Republican Party-associated lobbying and political strategy firm with offices in Washington, DC, and Hong Kong, was founded in 1998 by Ed Buckham, Thomas D. DeLay's former Chief of Staff, "with a huge initial contract that DeLay secured from Enron. (The group also paid DeLay's wife a salary for several years.)

There's that pesky TOM DELAY guy again...but let's read on...

On January 9, 2006, ASG announced it would be closing shop due to being "fatally damaged by publicity about the ongoing federal investigation into the affairs of" and "its ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former House majority leader Tom DeLay."

Well, well, wasn't that fun? So, dive in, look around and report back. We know Sue Kelly isn't working for us, so let's play Follow The Money and discover Who's Sue's Daddy!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


We'll Keep Asking...

...until we get an answer:

When will Sue Kelly finally decide to return the more than $12,000 she's taken from Tom Delay's disgraced political action committee, ARMPAC?

The Culture of Corruption seems to be alive and well...alas.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Take19 Gets Some Ink

Take19 has been getting some press this past week and our effort to project our message beyond this blog has been meeting with some success. Case in point, today's article in the Journal News.

Here's a taste:

Take19, a group organized to unseat U.S. Rep. Sue Kelly of Katonah in November, has officially launched its campaign in the wake of the six-term Republican's decisive vote in support of the Bush administration's $39.5 billion budget-cutting package that makes tax cuts permanent, while slashing spending on education, Medicare and Medicaid.

A grass-roots organization with about 45 volunteers, many of whom are Democrats, Take19 members say their goal is to reveal Kelly to voters as a politician who votes with the right wing of the Republican Party when in Washington but presents herself as a moderate to her constituents in the 19th Congressional District, which includes all of Putnam County and parts of Dutchess, Orange, Rockland and Westchester counties.

"Our purpose is to expose her for the right-wing, radical Republican that she is," Michael Morey, the group's spokesman and chairman of Peekskill's Democratic Party said yesterday.

To help them do that, they have started a blog at the Web site

One of the joys of blogging is that one can respond immediately to what one reads in the newspaper or on the web, and I'm going to take advantage of that here.

Let me begin with this:

Kelly's spokesman, Kevin Callahan, said the former teacher is not engaging in campaigning for re-election so early in the political season but is concentrating on issues that include helping small businesses, energy costs and terrorism.

If Sue Kelly isn't "engaging in campaigning for re-election so early in the campaign season," then why did she accept a truckload of campaign cash last year from banking and credit card PACs and then vote for the incomprehensable, pro-banking-and-credit-card industry Bankruptcy Bill? Selling your vote Collecting campaign money sure sounds like campaigning to me. (more on the links between her fund raising and voting record in another post).

I also see that her spokesperson says she is " costs and terrorism." Actually, I agree that her policies ARE helping energy costs...RISE. And her support of the ill fated Iraq Invasion has helped terrorism...INCREASE.


"Many Republicans voted for budget restrictions in the interest of fiscal responsibility," Callahan said. "This is being politicized."

If Republicans like Sue Kelly were REALLY interested in fiscal responsibility and not politics, they wouldn't support making Bush's deficit exploding tax cuts permanent at the expense of our education, health and security. It's not politics, it's priorities.

During the next nine months, Take19 will be doing all it can to help cut through Sue Kelly's well financed spin machine and present the facts about her priorities and record. It's nice to have our message heard, but this is just the beginning.

You can involve yourself in taking back our democracy, taking back our representative government, and taking back our great 19th district, by spreading the word about our blog and our organization. Together, we can win.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


In good company?

For someone who clings to the word moderate better than a piece of Saran Wrap, Sue seems to be spending a lot more time with some very unmoderate folks. Exhibit A? Next week's Ronald Reagan Birthday Celebration sponsored by the New York Young Republican Club, which will be honoring Sue for "keep(ing) the Reagan Revolution alive and thriving".

But perhaps more interesting than the event itself is who Sue will be sharing the dais with: Stephen Moore, of the decidedly unmoderate Club For Growth. Last year, Moore was one of the big proponents of privatizing Social Security -- an idea that didn't sit well with many in the 19th, or many others anywhere.

Even more intriguing is that Niger Innis will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Not familiar with Innis? Then you probably don't watch a lot of talk shows on cable TV. That's because Innis, who serves as spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality, an organization run by his father, Roy, has managed to significantly increase his fame by becoming an African-American Conservative. Innis loves to talk about how environmentalists are ruining everything for big companies, as he noted in the introduction to a book called Eco-Imperialism. Innis also likes to pen opinion pieces for the far-right CNS News Service, the same folks who first "broke" the Swift Boat story back in 2004.

You know what they say about the company you keep. Sue might call herself a moderate. But wishing doesn't make it so.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Sue says: Up with PACs; down with people!

A quick glance at the 2005 year-end fundraising reports filed with the Federal Election Commission shows an interesting trend:

Sue Kelly received most of her financial support from PACs and lobbyists; not people. To be exact, 51% ($446,650) of the funds she raised were from corporate lobbyists and other special interests while only 49% ($442,991) was from individuals, including the people here in the 19th that she supposedly represents. Which, of course, begs the question, "Who does Sue really represent?" And there's still the matter of that $12,000 in Tom DeLay ARMPAC cash that Sue still refuses to return...but we digress).

Leaving aside contributions from PACs (don't you wish Sue would?), she trailed badly in fundraising from individual contributors in 2005. According to her year-end FEC report filed last week, Sue raised only $442,991 from individuals for the entire year of 2005, while her Democratic challengers raised at least $515,914...and that was during only a small portion of the year. That's a 55%-45% victory for the Democratic challengers when it comes to real people. (In fact, if you count individuals who are supporting her Republican challenger, Jeff Cook , she fares even worse, trailing 44-56.) That's a lot of support for dumping a six-term incumbent. Obviously, the 19th is on to Sue, and getting tired of the same old status quo.

Meanwhile, a closer look at Sue's fundraising reveals this fascinating fact:

Even her individual contribution figures are misleading. Nearly $70,000 of those receipts came from individuals listed from addresses outside the 19th District, including maxed-out contributions from people in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Texas and California.

No wonder she votes consistently against the best interests of the people in her own District. They don't seem to be the ones paying for her campaign.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


A Matter of Trust

Note of warning. Opinion ahead.

People ask me why I don't support Sue Kelly as our congressperson. My response is always quite simple.

I don't trust her.

When asked to elaborate, I then go on to explain that I can't trust her to represent the PEOPLE of our district. She has time after time come home to our back yards and meeting halls and said pretty words about accountability, education and equal opportunity, and then she returns to Washington where she gets her marching orders from GOP leadership and quietly votes for her party, not her people.

I was reminded of this cute tarantella this morning when I read this article about the real life ramifications of the ironically named "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act," which Ms. Kelly wholeheartedly embraced...while accepting lots of campaign cash from financial services companies.

It seems the reality of this mess of a piece of legislation is coming home to roost.

Alfonso Sosa, a house painter here who made about $20,000 last year, filed for bankruptcy the morning of Dec. 6, hoping to avoid the foreclosure on his family's mobile home scheduled for later that day. Judge Frank Monroe of Austin rejected the case 16 days later — with a bang.

In his ruling, Monroe said the new federal bankruptcy law is full of traps for consumers, calling some of its provisions "inane," "absurd" and incomprehensible to "any rational human being."

He stopped just short of accusing Congress of being bought and paid for, dryly noting, "Apparently, it is not the individual consumers of this country that make the donations to the members of Congress that allow them to be elected and re-elected and re-elected and re-elected."

And the article goes on to describe how judges and lawyers across the country are appalled at the lack of humanity that is woven into the indecipherable threads of this law.

But this isn't new. The Medicare D legislation is a complete mess of confusion; confusion that can only be seen as a purposeful attempt to frustrate medicare recipients and ultimately enrich the corporate sponsors of the bill; in this case the drug and medical insurance companies. Sue gave this bill a thumbs up as well.

Her recent vote (which was the deciding vote, by the way) to gut programs that benefit students, the elderly and the poor in the name of deficit reduction while she maintains her support for making perminent Bush's tax cuts for corporations and multi-millionaires is, in a word, shameful.

I have recently learned that Rep. Kelly is the only regional congressperson who refuses to go on Alan Chartock's radio program to discuss her votes and positions. This leads me to ask, "What is she afraid of? The truth?"

All this comes together in one word, TRUST. No, I do not TRUST Sue Kelly.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Hello, Qatar?

Those of us who have been wondering how Sue spent her six weeks off -- after all, she hasn't exactly been a big presence in the district and couldn't even show up for a meeting that she called in late January on the immigration crisis in Brewster -- now have an answer: she was busy meeting with the Ambassador to Qatar.

Apparently, the meeting went so well that Sue was invited to attend the Doha Forum on Democracy, Development, Trade and Freedom. A quick search finds that she attended this conference last year too, and rang up nearly $9,000 in bills that were paid for by the Qatar Chamber of Commerce.

Last we checked, there wasn't a big Qatari voting-bloc here in the 19th. And now that the influential Cook Political Report has declared the 19th a competitive district (click on the February 3 report), it seems like Sue needs to spend a little more time a bit closer to home.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Pushing it over the edge...

Yesterday, the House voted to cut nearly $40 billion from the budget for vital programs. The vote was 216 to 214 -- closer than the two previous votes to cut the budget that will see the largest cuts in federal student aid -- $12.7 billion -- and additional cuts in funding for Community Colleges (like the one pictured to the right), Medicaid and child support enforcement.

The vote was so close because 13 Republicans, including our neighbor to the north, Rep. John Sweeney (NY-20), who's not exactly known as a warm and fuzzy guy, decided to side with sanity. But not Sue. Indeed, as Hotline Online reported, Sue cast the vote that pushed it over the edge. That's right: she was vote #216.

So despite her photo ops and useless press releases touting her pro-education stance, thousands of college students in this district -- and every other district -- will now have to fork over more money to pay for college. If you live in this district, be sure to send Sue a thank you note (or call). And be sure to send us the response. We love to post her useless responses. Heck, we may even hold a contest.

P.S. Take19 officially went public today. You can download our press release here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Sue goes ga-ga over W!

We realize that W is a celebrity and that the State of the Union can be exciting for a few diehards. But, it was a more than a little bit embarrassing to watch our 69 year-old Representative fawn (with a capital F) over W as she sought his autograph last night.

Note to Sue: he's not Mick Jagger. He isn't even Bono. And besides, with all those votes you've taken that are in lock-step with Bush's misguided policies, like cutting more than $12 billion from federal student loans, it's a bit surprising to us that you had to act like some crazed fan to get a simple autograph.

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