Thursday, April 27, 2006

 

Sue's scream....

It seems do-nothing Sue has decided to do .... something... and give us here at Take19 a well deserved shot of free publicity. Thanks Sue!

So for those of you who read about us in Sue's three-page long scream(pdf file) (Wait...we thought Sue wasn't focused on the campaign yet!) and are just joining us, we'd like to welcome you to Take19, a web site dedicated to giving the residents of New York's 19th Congressional District the real deal on Sue, in the hopes of getting someone elected who is not in the pocket of special interest PACs like the oil and gas lobby or the banking lobby or the credit card industry or, well, you get the idea.

If you're looking for some information on Sue's voting record, check out this link to the Washington Post's Congressional votes database and see how many times this so-called moderate cast key votes on legislation that just eeked by.

And over on the left side you'll find links to the six candiates running for the Democratic nomination, as well as links to progressive organizations throughout the 19th CD.

Hmmm... come to think of it, we guess Sue finally did something good for her constituents.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

 

Sue's World Tour... Cancelled

Poor Sue.

All packed up and ready to go on a fun filled trip to Quatar when the State Department throws a monkey wrench into her vacation plans.

Did the State Department withdraw support for her jaunt to the Gulf because, as Sue's spokesmodel claims, her criticism of the Adminstration's support for Quatar hit a little close to home (wait, I thought she wasn't in campaign mode?)?

Or, is the truth far more obvious, that the State Department dropped its sponsorship of Sue's junket because it was ... well... a politically motivated junket?

The Times Herald-Record might have the answer:
A State Department spokesman denied any link between the criticism and the canceled trip, which was first reported in Monday's New York Post. The agency withdrew its sponsorship after questions were raised by the House Ethics Committee, said the spokesman, Noel Clay. The Ethics Committee did not return a call for comment.
Considering how far out of step she is with the voters of the 19th Congressional District, can you blame Sue for wanting to be anywhere but here at home?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

 

Welcome back...

Congress returns from its latest two-week recess today, which means that Sue is back on the job. We can only imagine all of the letters Sue will be writing to federal officials, like this one, and the important legislation she'll be sponsoring. After all, with the Cook Political Report rating Sue as an incumbent Republican with at least two vulnerabilities it's more important than ever for Sue to show that she's actually doing something for her district.

Based on the Congressional calendar, it will be a whole month before Sue's next vacation. Just in case you're keeping score, House members like Sue make just over $165,000 a year and get plenty of vacation time: this was their third week-long recess since returning to work from their six-week Christmas recess at the end of January. Are you starting to wonder how you might get a high-paying job with so much vacation time? Don't forget: members of Congress also get free health insurance and a taxpayer paid car, or, in Sue's case, an SUV. We'll assume that taxpayers are also paying for those $65 fill-ups too.

Isn't it time the people in the 19th had a representative in Congress who does something more than write meaningless letters and sponsor legislation that goes nowhere?

Friday, April 21, 2006

 

With Friends Like This

As if we needed yet another reminder just how out of touch Sue is with her constituents, the latest fundraising numbers out this week show Sue raising more than half of her campaign chest from PACs and party committees.

Take a look if you have the stomach. Come to think of it, that shouldn't be a problem what with all the insurance PAC money Sue is taking.

And then there's the $5,000 Sue took from GOPAC. Who is GOPAC you ask? Interesting you should ask. GOPAC was the political machine run by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the treasure chest behind the Contract On America. Here's some background on GOPAC to mull over.

With friends like Newt Gingrich...

 

National attention...

It seems like Sue's days of misrepresenting the 19th in Congress are increasingly numbered, judging by this story by Bloomberg. Here's a snippet:

Democrats are also targeting seats held by Republicans Sherwood Boehlert, Randy Kuhl, Tom Reynolds, James Walsh, and Sue Kelly, said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He said Democrats may have an advantage because of a flagging economy in upstate New York, and will be helped by the candidates at the top of the ticket.

``Hillary Clinton and Eliot Spitzer are get-out-the-vote magnets for the Democrats,'' Emanuel said in an interview.


But it's not just the top of the ticket that is putting Sue in jeopardy. It's her record of consistently voting in lock-step with President Bush, Tom DeLay and other hard-line Republican leaders. It's her votes to slash $12 billion from student loan programs, to change the bankruptcy laws in favor of the large banks and credit card companies who repeatedly fund her campaign and the long list of other votes she's taken over the past 11 years. While Sue may have started out as a moderate back in 1994, each time there's a close vote, Sue consistently votes with her party, even when it's out of sync with the voters in her district.

It's time for her to go.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

 

Mc-Bush Supports Runaround Sue

Sue Kelly recently appeared at a fundraiser with Sen. John McCain in Hopewell Junction, NY. Just at a time Ms. Kelly is attempting to recast her conservative voting record as moderate, Sen. McCain is “ Emphasizing His Conservative Bone Fides”, NY Times 4-9-06, also reported in USA Today 4-10-06. According to the Times, McCain now supports the Bush tax cuts he denounced in the past; he supported the Dubai port sale. Mr. McCain is now best friends with the Rev. Jerry Falwell; he is pro-life and supports the South Dakota law prohibiting abortion; and it was reported (same article) he encourages the teaching of intelligent design in lieu of evolution. John McCain does not support same sex marriage but he does support Sue Kelly. Conservatives beget Conservatives, not moderates.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

 

Sinking Fast

Poor Sue. According to the latest numbers from Gallup, public approval of the Republican Congress is sinking, and sinking fast.

From Gallup:
PRINCETON, NJ -- Public approval of the job Congress is doing has dipped to its lowest level of 2006, and is now the worst Gallup has recorded since the closing days of the Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994.

According to an April 10-13, 2006, Gallup Poll, 23% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, while 70% disapprove. The current approval score is slightly below the 25%-27% range seen since January.

The current 23% approval rating for Congress is a near-record low for the institution. Gallup's trend for this question, which started in 1974, shows lower approval scores on only three other occasions: October 1994 (21%), March 1992 (18%), and June 1979 (19%).
1979, 1992, 1994.... anyone starting to sense a pattern developing here?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

 

Dear Sue: welcome to reality!

We were beginning to wonder what happened to Sue during this latest Congressional recess (that's the third one since the end of January for those who are keeping track) when she surfaced yesterday to declare that the economy was doing great just because the national unemployment rate dropped. While we can understand the need to tout rosy job numbers, even if very few of those jobs were created here in the 19th, most of the people in the district are probably a lot more concerned about the cost of a gallon of gas, which went up a whopping 25% this week.

So we'd like to make a little suggestion: instead of touting national unemployment numbers to make the economy look brighter than it really is, perhaps Sue should think about doing something about this. Of course, that might mean returning the $3,000 she took from ExxonMobil's PAC during the current cycle. Still, something doesn't make sense in a world where the very same week that we learn about an oil exec making $144,000 a day, our gas prices jump 25%.

Friday, April 07, 2006

 

A helping hand...

We all need a helping hand now and then. But when Sue votes to cut $12 billion from federal student loan programs -- as she's done three separate times -- and then makes a big show out of finding $1.14 million to help the Dutchess County Airport, it makes us wonder about Sue's real priorities.

Granted, she needs to show that she's doing something for the district, which is why her office keeps putting out these silly press releases talking about all of the money she's bringing home. (We're still waiting for the release where she touts her misguided budget votes or any of the other votes she's taken with indicted former House Leader Tom DeLay). But since Dutchess County Airport lost its last commercial carrier five years ago, it's not really clear who Sue's money is benefiting. After all, as this story notes, the airport's main purpose is to provide helicopter flights to "the rich and famous".

So while we're all for bringing money back to the district, it would be nice if it could help people who actually need the help. We're quite sure that without much effort, Sue could find some needy students who can no longer afford their college tuition, thanks to her votes. Of course, that would mean she'd have to own up to her vote. Issuing press releases is obviously much easier.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

 

Two questions...

Now that Tom DeLay has announced that he is leaving the House over the next few months, we wonder who Sue will turn to when it comes time to vote? After all, so far this year, an examination of Sue's voting record by Take19 shows that she voted with DeLay 65 out of 80 times. That's 81% for those math-phobics out there. Four of those votes were close ones, where Sue's vote clearly made the difference. So how did she do? She voted with DeLay every single time even when real moderates chose to cross party lines.

Indeed, she only bucked The Hammer on 10 votes, which in our book, isn't exactly the mark of a moderate. Remember: DeLay represents one of the most conservative districts in the country. And the Hudson Valley, a district Sue claims to represent, isn't exactly suburban Houston.

Which brings us to our second question: Will Sue finally return the $12,020 she's accepted from DeLay?

UPDATE: We should have mentioned yesterday that DeLay missed 5 of those 80 votes. So assuming he had been there, we're betting Sue's DeLay loyalty scorer -- special points to the person who comes up with a catchier name -- would have been even higher.

 

Runaround Sue on the Runways

Once again Rep. Sue Kelly has taken big credit for something she had little to do with and which provided comparatively small benefits.

On Thursday, March 30th, Runaround Sue announced a Federal Aviation Administration grant awarded to Stewart International Airport. The funds are part of a program called AIR-21. The airport improvement program provides both discretionary grants and formula grants to airports of all sizes. To say that she co-sponsored the bill that made it happen means that all she did was co-sponsor the bill to reauthorize a program already in existence. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, she would be expected to co-sponsor the reauthorization bill.

Runaround Sue should not be boasting all that much here. The program gets billions, Stewart received $1.54 million dollars. And what is that money being used for, airport security? Not according to airport spokeswoman Tanya Vanasse via the Poughkeepsie Journal, "We're just pushing dirt around and planting grass and making it nice and flat on both ends of the runway."


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