Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Come on, Sue. This is getting really embarrassing
Just wondering: Why have you still not returned the $12,000-plus you took from the indicted Tom DeLay? We keep reminding you, and now May is just about gone, one more month passed, and you still haven't given the money back.
In case it's too awkward to talk about publicly, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know when you've returned the dirty dollars.
Is this just a case of false pride, of being constitutionally unable to admit a mistake, like George W. Bush? In any case, this episode is now crossing the line from embarrassing to shameful.
It's one thing to have been married to the indicted former Congressman Tom DeLay's extremist politics in the House of Representatives; you voted with him an impressive - and very loyal, we might add - 90 % of the time.
You even went so far as to vote a special federal law to intervene in the private tragedy of Terri Schiavo. We only wish your compassion extended to the millions of Medicaid recipients whose funding you have voted to cut — on more than one occasion. By the way - Terri Schiavo's healthcare needs were met in part because of support provided by Medicaid.
We know you don’t need DeLay's dollars. After all, you’ve squirreled away nearly a million dollars from Bank of America, the National Beer Wholesalers, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, New York Life and other insurance, banking and corporate interests for this year's campaign.
We wonder what those dollars buy in terms of promises - or are they simply a form of continued support for your voting for billions of dollars of tax “relief" for the wealthy, while your middle-class constituents and the working families of the 19th CD continue to struggle.
Friday, May 26, 2006
In the meantime, while thousands of soldiers are being killed and maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have seen far too much disrespect shown to those who serve our country. For example, placing our soldiers in harm's way when there is no immediate threat to our country, or, using false pretenses to justify a war. Cutting veteran's services and increasing fees for such services is another idea we should not even consider. Allowing our servicemembers, many who are struggling financially, to be forced into bankruptcy by predatory lenders should also be a big no no. Finally, efforts to shortchange our servicemembers by offering inadequate compensation and puny pay raises should be seen as a slap in the face of anyone who volunteers to risk life and limb in order to protect our nation.
Leadership in D.C. is lacking and it is time for a change. The failure of today's Republican party (who control both the Senate and the House) to honor and protect those who proudly serve our nation is glaring. We need to change the power structure and rid the Congress of Bush lackeys and enablers like Sue Kelly.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
GOP defense of tax cuts for the wealthy
Republican House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert from the floor of the House of Representatives: Link
"well, folks, if you earn $40,000 a year and have a family of two, you don't pay any taxes. So you probably if you don't pay any taxes, you are not going to get a big tax cut. Now, if you earn $1 million a year, you are going to pay about $400,000 of taxes. Maybe you'll get a $40,000 tax cut ..."
How's that for a kick in the gut to the working class families of our nation? To those readers earning $40,000, or $20,000 or $60,000 for that matter, this is just another example of how Bush/GOP enablers like Sue Kelly favor the very wealthy over the working/middle class. They say that you pay no taxes. They think that you have it sooooooo good and need no relief and that the very wealthy are hurting and need a shot in the arm to overcome their struggles.
This is the kind of leadership that Sue Kelly enables and supports. This is the reason we must replace her with someone who represents the interests of her constituents and not just the interests of the wealthy and big business.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Missing in Action?
“Each of the men and women deployed, and their families, depend on knowing that their finances will be secure when they return, and that criminals and fraudsters will not steal the funds they have earned serving our country.”
We couldn't agree more. Which is why we were puzzled why Sue failed to invite a single representative from the payday loan industry to testify at her little hearing. Not familiar with payday loans? That's because they're effectively illegal in New York state because of the high interest rates they charge. Yet as this site shows, members of the military are often these companies' prime targets.
Now what could possibly cause Sue to leave the payday loan industry off the invite list? Could it be because she receives money -- lots of it -- from an industry group that represents payday lenders? Indeed. One of Sue's biggest donors this cycle has been a group called Financial Service Centers of America, which happens to represent payday lenders. The very same payday lenders that are illegal in New York state and who prey on members of the military .
If Sue wanted to hold a real hearing on the financial problems that military families face, instead of the dog and pony show that she seems to excel at, she should have invited some of her regular donors up to the Hill and grilled them. But once again, Sue has proven that it's much easier to accept their checks then to hold them accountable. Don't the people who live in the 19th -- not to mention the members of our military who get taken advantage by Sue's generous donors -- deserve more from Congress?
Friday, May 19, 2006
Destroying Working Class America
The GOP budget resolution also includes:
- cuts in funding to almost every job program in the Dept. of Health and Human Services
- underfunding of Veteran's programs to the tune of approx. $6 billion
- Huge increases in TRICARE medical costs to veterans. In many cases costs will be doubled and tripled for retired senior enlisted personnel and retired officers.
- cuts that could reduce the size of the Army National Guard by as much as 17,000
- cuts $6.1 billion below current funding levels that fund Homeland Security port security grants that protect the physical security of our ports.
So keep in mind that these cuts are thanks to Sue Kelly and the GOP who feel that those earning over a million dollars a year need a $42,000 tax cut.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Fiscally Inept: Sue Kelly and the GOP
You'd think that these all powerful Republicans who control both the legislative and executive branches of our federal government would practice what they preach. Well you'd be wrong. Instead, these hypocritical Republicans who make promises every election year to safeguard the taxpayers' money offer the worst possible examples of fiscal policy. This irresponsible behavior is made possible thanks to enablers in Congress. Enablers such as Sue Kelly.
In January of 2001, when George W. Bush was sworn in as President of the United States of America, our national budget was in fine shape. Thanks to years of a strong economy, revenues were up and we enjoyed a huge budget surplus. Since then, the Republican controlled Congress has turned our large surplus into a staggering deficit. Tax cuts for the wealthy, a massively expensive and incompetently planned "war on terror" and $223 million bridges to nowhere have led our nation into levels of national debt that one could have never imagined.
In the middle of last night (when the GOP likes to do these types of things), Sue Kelly and the Republican majority in Congress passed a shameful budget resolution. This resolution passed by a vote of 218-210 with twelve Republicans crossing over to side with the Democrats to vote no. In this resolution is the fifth increase to the federal debt ceiling in five years. This GOP legislation increases the debt ceiling to an astounding 9.6 trillion dollars. Yes, that is $9,600,000,000,000. Thirteen digits. Since 2001, the Republican Congress has increased the debt ceiling by 4 trillion dollars. Is this an example of the fiscal discipline that the GOP prides itself on? Is this how the GOP safeguards the taxpayers' money?
We can no longer afford to have Sue Kelly as our representative in Congress. It's time to Take 19 and rid ourselves of our irresponsible Congresswoman.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Dear Sue Kelly, Thanks for my $17 tax cut
The first thing that pops into mind is that it will buy me one, yes one, haircut. But it will leave me just enough left over so that I can tip my barber Joe a couple of bucks. Or, I could go a little crazy and add just over a quarter a tank of gasoline to my car. That will go a long, long way... well at least enough to drive down to Manhattan (but forget about the parking). However now that I really think about it, I think I will best stretch that $17 out by using it to satisfy my addiction to the wonderful Vanilla Bean Frappucino from Starbucks. Sue, I can't express how grateful I am to you for affording me the opportunity to indulge in four, yes four, of those most satisfying and delightful refreshments.
As rich as I'm feeling now thanks to the $17 extra bucks Sue Kelly helped to add to my pockets, it seems pale in comparison to what the wealthy will be receiving. You see, those earning over one million dollars per year will be given a tax cut of approx. $42,766. Let's see, so while I'm drinking one of my four tasty Vanilla Bean Frappucinos, the wealthy will be able to pay for tuition, room and board at one of the finer institutes of higher learning for one of their children. Wow, maybe I'm not feeling so cared for after all. I guess I shouldn't complain however. I mean those poor suckers making only 30k per year are only getting a $10 tax cut.
I sure hope Sue Kelly doesn't consider me ungrateful. It's just wonderful that Sue and her GOP allies are able to provide such huge benefits to the wealthy and at the same time allow me to indulge in a few of my favorite refreshments.
I thank you Sue Kelly for the seventeen bucks. However, I'm sure that the wealthiest Americans thank you even more.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
(D)eadline passes: not a peep out of Sue Kelly
Due to the mass confusion over the plan and the horror stories from those that have had poor experiences so far, many of those eligible have not yet signed up. As a result there has been a call from many politicians, including some Republicans, to extend the Part D enrollment deadline. This call had been rebuffed by President Bush and Bush lackeys such as Sue Kelly. At a time when our seniors need some consideration and compassion, Sue Kelly provides nothing and instead follows the lead of the President.
This Republican and lobbyist created program is nothing more than a giveaway to the insurance and prescription drug industries and is already having a negative impact on many senior citizens. Even conservative Republican Senator John McCain said:
"There's no doubt in my mind that the drug industry got everythingRepublican Senator Dan Burton had this to say:
it wanted and more," he said "It perhaps should be called the
'Leave-No-Lobbyist-Behind Bill ' "
“Seniors, when they find out what's in that bill, are gonna be very angry The problem is, they're not gonna find out about it until after this next election "In typical fashion, Sue Kelly acts as both a Bush enabler and a friend to big business while her constituents wind up with the short end of the stick. Sue, people are calling out for your help and your silence is deafening.
Update - 5-17-06: It appears that Sue has finally come around, just a bit. After using the fear of the May 15th deadline to rush seniors into possibly making rushed and possibly uninformed decisions, Sue has just come around (according to the 'unofficial website' of the campaign) and is now claiming to support elimination of the late signup penalty for this year. Is this just some more of Sue's lip service? Time will tell. Meanwhile, the question remains, why did Sue Kelly support and vote for this complete giveaway to the insurance and prescription drug industries?
Monday, May 15, 2006
Seniors live in fear that the government will take everything when they die. The fact is, thanks to Sue Kelly, the government will take everything from you if you live and require a nursing home.
You could ask Sue Kelly why she favors tax breaks to the wealthiest 1% of America while casting the decisive vote (DRA 2005) in favor of cutting aid to the poor, infirm, and elderly? You could ask Sue Kelly why the wealthiest 1% of America should have an unencumbered right to transfer their assets to their heirs, while the middleclass and working poor who make gifts to churches and synagogues, or provide financial support to their children and grandchildren should be denied long term medical assistance years later?
You could ask, but you would only get the runaround from Sue.
According to a report by the advocacy groups Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy the lobbying effort to repeal the estate tax has been led by 18 super-wealthy families. The report, "Spending Millions to Save Billions”, reveals the families behind Wal-Mart, Gallo Winery, Campbell Soup Company, and Mars Inc., among others, have anonymously funded a multi-million dollar campaign to repeal the federal estate tax by using associations to represent them.
"Spending Millions to Save Billions," calculates that these families stand to collectively gain $71.6 billion if the estate tax is repealed. The report estimated a permanent repeal of the estate tax would cost about a trillion dollars over 10 years, $745 billion in lost revenue and $225 billion in increased interest on the National Debt.
You could ask Sue Kelly, if the estate tax is repealed how will we pay to finance the $800 Billion for the war in Iraq, or the $800 billion for the Medicare drug benefit, or pay the interest on the National Debt, or pay for the other tax cuts so near and dear to America’s wealthiest? You could ask, but you would only get the runaround from Sue.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Sue Kelly Supports Fiscal Insanity!
There's a good summary of the impact of this legilsation here, courtesy of the American Progress Action Fund. It helped me and I hope that it will help you to understand that we cannot afford 2 more years of Sue Kelly's allegiance to duplicitous fiscal policy set forth by the Bush Administration.
According to the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, "The average tax cut for the 20 percent of households in the middle of the income spectrum would be just $20." Meanwhile, "For those with incomes above $1 million, the average tax cut would be $42,000." Overall, "the three-quarters of households with incomes below $75,000 would receive just 5 percent of the benefits". For the vast majority of people in NY-19, that works out to an extra $110. The Washington Post "described the impact as "Budgetary dishonesty, distributional unfairness, fiscal irresponsibility". So much for Sue's pledge -- first made back in 1994 -- that she was a fiscal conservative.
So, what tax break will you get? Will it even help to pay for gas?
"Me too" Sue
Here's her latest attempt at looking busy. A press release that ran in the Hudson Valley News tells us all about Sue's efforts to revamp and strengthen FEMA. But the release issued by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure doesn't even include her name on the bill.
Wishing something is true doesn't make it so. The next thing you know Sue will claim credit for making the Sun rise, the rains fall and the crops grow. But like her "record of accomplishment" it's still all just make believe.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Fly on the wall....
Now, we don't know what was said and we're pretty sure Sue, who likes to claim that she's independent from Bush despite voting in lockstep with the president 75% of the time since 2001, isn't telling. But fellow Rep. Tom Cole, who hails from Oklahoma, which is considerably more conservative than NY-19, said that Bush "was very candid and forthcoming" and also said that "I want you to know we're going to win in Iraq," Cole said.
Did Sue tell Bush she was worried? Did she moan about Take19 like she did two weeks ago in a fundraising letter? We don't know. But here's your chance to play screenwriter. Send us a line or two of what you think Sue, W. and Rove talked about. We'll send the winner an official Take19 bumper sticker.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Medicare (D)isaster: Sue following Bush's lead yet again
Looming on the horizon is a May 15 deadline for senior citizens to sign up for the program and choose a plan that best suits their needs, failure to sign up for coverage could mean incurring a financial penalty and being unable to qualify for prescription drug coverage until 2007. However, thanks to this poorly crafted legislation, many seniors are having a hard time selecting a plan for coverage and have not yet signed up. With this deadline fast approaching there has been a call from many for Congress to extend the enrollment deadline. These calls have been resisted by the Bush administration who seemingly wants to force seniors to make an uninformed decision and quite probably enroll in the wrong plan for them.
In the Mid-Hudson Valley area, our congressional delegation is almost united in their desire to extend the enrollment period. All local representatives, from both sides of the aisle, are calling for an extension. Well almost all, the lone exception being Sue Kelly. Yes folks, once again Sue is following the lead of the Bush administration rather than represent her constituents.
From the Poughkeepsie Journal article some quotes from Rep. Maurice Hinchey:
Why does Sue Kelly want to rush senior citizens into making such an important decision as this? Where is the leadership from our 'Representative' in the House? Sue, it's time to stop following the incompetent leadership of the Bush administration and start representing the people in your congressional district.
While legislative efforts in both houses have bipartisan support, not enough Republicans have come around to making it a reality yet, Hinchey said.
"What we're trying to do is just give more people more time to make an intelligent and carefully thought-out decision," Hinchey said.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Smoke and mirrors...
Meanwhile, a second, but related vote that would have required screening of 100% of all cargo entering the U.S. -- as opposed to the less than 5% that is currently screened -- failed by a vote of 202 to 222. Wanna hazard a guess as to which way Sue voted? Wait for it....yep she voted against it, even though six decidedly more principled Republicans crossed party lines on this critical issue involving our national security.
Of course, that didn't stop Sue from saying this in her press release: "Its vital that we continue these efforts to address port security weaknesses and improve cargo screening measures both abroad and here at home."
Don't the people who live here in the 19th deserve something better than a Congresswoman who says one thing and votes something else?
Thursday, May 04, 2006
They can't even clean their own 'House'
Fortunately, the press isn't buying into the Republican's version of reform. Some quotes from local publications:
The Journal News:
The ethics reform bill expected to be approved by the House Tuesday will do little to curb influence-peddling by lobbyists. It is far weaker than the Senate version with which it will have to be reconciled in conference committee if Congress is to have any ethics reform at all.
But the measure falls short of what Republican leaders promised after the scandal involving the lobbyist Jack Abramoff rocked the Capitol in January. The chief Republican architect of the bill, Representative David Dreier of California, the House Rules Committee chairman, conceded that he wished that the measure "were stronger than it is."
Even Republican Rep. Chris Shays of CT is disgusted with the failing of his own party and admits that the Democratic party did a better job of offering true ethics reform.
Mr. Shays said after the vote that "the Democrats did a much better job of presenting a bill," and took aim at the new majority leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, who has been lukewarm to restricting travel. "This is not John Boehner's forte," Mr. Shays said. "This is not something he believes in."
Perhaps Democrat Rep. Brian Baird of Washington sums it up best when he says:
"We are cleaning up Congress the way teenagers clean up their bedrooms, and the result will be the same mess."
Once again Sue Kelly and her corrupt GOP leaders sell out the people she represents in order to stand behind the GOP and their ever so cozy relationship with lobbyists and big business. One just has to wonder how much money Sue has 'raised' this week by voting to continue the Republican Culture of Corruption.
Sue Kelly: Empty Promises
Now of course this act never became law, however you would think that those candidates who signed this 'contract' would stand by the spirit of such a pledge and not seek to stay in office past their sixth term. Well, it seems that many of the signatories to this 'contract' either have a poor memory or have become greedy and addicted to power and no longer wish to honor the spirit of their own pledge, a pledge that they used to convince voters to send them to Congress.
Sue Kelly, you signed the "Contract With America." You led us to believe that you were in favor of term limits (specifically no more than six terms for Representatives), yet here you are in 2006 running for a seventh term. Sue, was your "Contract With America" just an empty promise? How are your constituents ever to believe another word you tell us?
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Sue Kelly: Yes to corruption
At best the bill would marginally improve the existing arrangement of minimal disclosure, laxly enforced. Reporting by lobbyists would be quarterly instead of twice yearly and slightly more detailed (with listings of lobbyists' campaign contributions -- already available elsewhere -- along with gifts to lawmakers and contributions to their charities). Nothing would crimp lawmakers' lifestyles: Still allowed would be meals, gifts (skybox seats at sporting events, say) and cut-rate flights on corporate jets. Privately sponsored travel would be suspended, but only until just after the election.Just how did Sue Kelly (who loves to call herself a moderate) vote on this legislation? You guessed it. As usual, Kelly voted along with her Republican allies and sided with lobbyists and big business. Not that this is any surprise as Sue just loves herself some big campaign contributions, especially when it's coming from big business and Political Action Committees. This is just further proof that Sue Kelly cares only about advancing the Republican agenda and little about the interests of her constituents in NY-19.
Monday, May 01, 2006
There she goes again...
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Sue voted against legislation that would have removed subsidies and closed loopholes for large oil companies -- the very same companies that are reporting record profits right now. What's particularly shameful here is that Sue's posturing -- remember that taypayers pay for her fill-ups, so she's not feeling the heat -- comes at a time when the rest of us are paying around $3.25 for a gallon of gas.