Monday, July 31, 2006


Here, Piggy Piggy...

The Conservative Club For Growth has released its rankings of the porkiest Members of Congress and it found that our own Sue has quite an appetite for pork. Unfortunately, none of the projects detailed in the list happen to be in the district Sue claims to represent.

Way to go Sue! Not quite as bad as John Sweeney's 100% batting average in neighboring NY-20, but pretty close.

Capitalist Pundit, a local blogger, has more details on some of Sue's porkier moments. Maybe next time Sue will take a pass on $1 million for tourism development in Kentucky and actually pay attention to things that are going on in this district.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


R: The New Scarlet Letter

Apologies to Nathaniel Hawthorne, but it appears that there's a new scarlet letter in town and it begins with the letter R. Earlier this week, The Hill poked at suburban Buffalo Congressman Tom Reynolds, who is leading the Republican attempt to retain control of Congress, because he conveniently forgot that he was a Republican in his campaign literature, in his TV ads, and on his website.

So we decided to take a look at Sue Kelly's new campaign site and shock of shocks, the word Republican is MIA on her site too. It's not on this page, or this one or even this one.

Are things really so bad for Republicans in New York that they have to pretend that they're not Republicans? And exactly how do they plan to get rid of the Republican label on the ballot come November?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Rudy to the rescue!

We knew that Sue would eventually turn to Rudy Giuliani, who uses the catchy moniker "America's Mayor", to inject life into her tired campaign. We just expected him to come here in mid-October. Rudy will be here next Wednesday at a $250 a plate fundraiser for Sue in Fishkill. The event even features an open bar, which ought to make all of those beer companies that contribute to Sue's coffers (as we noted here) pretty happy. The event is being hosted by Dutchess Co. developer David Stenger and his brother, Kenneth, a partner at a Wappingers Falls law firm.

Now why would someone like Sue who already has a significant fundraising advantage need to call in such a big gun like Rudy? In August, no less? After all, John McCain already came to the district in April. Perhaps she needs the money to continue paying for the dirty campaigning that's already going on in the district. After all, Swift-boating someone doesn't come cheaply.

Of course, Rudy isn't just stumping for Sue in person. He's also stumping for Sue here on his website. Indeed, Sue's picture appears just above another endangered New York Congresscritter: John Sweeney of NY-20. Be sure to take a close look at all of Sue's accomplishments -- a list worthy of the fiction best-seller list!

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Coming Soon to a Milk Carton in your fridge

The middle-class is disappearing. Overwhelmed by the skyrocketing cost of living, more and more American families are struggling to keep up and many are falling by the wayside. Health care, housing, gasoline, heating oil, interest rates, groceries and other essential items just keep getting more expensive. Income for all, except big business and the very wealthy, just can't keep up with the rising expenses. The evidence of Sue Kelly's complete disregard for middle-class America is overwhelming and well documented in this blog and is further proven in a report card just issued by the Drum Major Institute.

DMI tallied key votes on issues that directly affect the middle class and I'm sure that those familiar with Sue Kelly wouldn't be surprised to hear her report card grade. 13%. Wow. If you ever scored 13% on anything - be it a social studies exam, work evaluation or anything else - would you expect to be rewarded? Well based on her voting record on issues such as bankruptcy, tort reform, estate tax, medicare, student loans, free trade agreements and energy policy, Sue Kelly failed miserably yet expects to be rewarded with re-election.

What do you think? Should Sue Kelly be rewarded for failing the middle class while serving the interests of big business and the wealthy? You'll have your chance to answer these questions come November 7th.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Something to crow about?

Apparently, the Republicans in Washington D.C. were so proud of the vote that Sue took the other day on outlawing the possibility of gay marriages that they've been busy calling around to local reporters here in the 19th trying to get them to nail some of Sue's democratic challengers on this critically important issue that apparently ranks right up there with affordable health insurance and a deteriorating economy for middle class Americans. Perhaps it's part of the Republican's so-called suburban strategy. Except that Mark Kirk, the Chicago area Congressman who is credited with that strategy actually voted against adding a constitutional amendment.

Are national Republicans really that worried about Kelly losing that they're already making calls for her? And how does that square with Kelly spokesman Kevin Callahan's repeated comments that the Congresswoman doesn't plan to start focusing on the race until the fall? That must be why Sue was the star of yet another Republican fundraiser on Wednesday night with the catchy name "Retaining our Majority IV". (We missed the invites to ROMPs 1, 2 and 3 now that Sue no longer lists her fundraising events on the NRCC website).

Why not give the fine folks at the NRC a call (202.863.8500) and tell them just how wrong they are on this issue? And while you're at it, tell them that Sue's own lackeys ought to be able to do their own dirty work!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Sue Kelly Desires a Second Class of Citizens

Sue Kelly voted on Tuesday to permanently create a second class of citizens who, if the legislation passed, would not be able to enjoy the same rights that most others do. In another attempt to divide America, the Republican Party proposed an amendment to the Constitution that would prohibit some United States citizens from marrying their chosen partner. Thankfully, there are still enough rational members of Congress who voted 'no' on this legislation and kept it from passing.

We celebrated Independence Day a couple of weeks ago. It was a holiday created to honor the courage of those who signed the Declaration of Independence and led the American rebellion against tyrannical rule. Republican hucksters like Sue Kelly like to wrap themselves in the American flag and label themselves as patriots. Deriding those who disagree with their rhetoric as traitors, these disengenuous Republicans love to talk about how others in the world "hate us for our freedoms." Well, Sue Kelly and those of her ilk have no clue what freedom really means. Their idea of freedom is to force Americans to abide by their conservative Republican ideals of morality. For Kelly, and those like her, allow me to refer them to an historic document that was written and signed 230 years ago.

Do we remember this sentence from the Declaration of Independence? Sue Kelly doesn't.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Freedom indeed.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Sue Kelly Doesn't Care About Our Children

Once again, Sue Kelly has shown she doesn't care about the welfare and safety of our children and grandchildren. This time, she voted to reject a motion by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)to prohibit interstate gambling by minors on the internet. Conyer's proposal would have amended the INTERNET GAMBLING PROHIBITION AND ENFORCEMENT ACT, H.R. 4411.

What merit could Sue Kelly possibly see in permitting gambling by children?

Conyers' motion, which failed by a 167-243 vote essentially along party lines, would have required a “secure and effective customer identity verification system to assure compliance with applicable age and residence requirements.” Rep. Conyers said in support of his motion - "It makes sure that underage kids cannot gamble on the Internet, whether it is connection to interstate or intrastate betting...[T]o me, protecting children from being taken advantage of on the Internet is one of the most important things we can do as Members of the Congress."

You may recall from our recentpostthat Sue Kelly voted to remove the requirement that all handguns be equipped with safety trigger locks. Now she continues her theme of "Let Every Child be Left Unprotected" (is this going to be one of her campaign slogans?) by voting against the Conyers proposal.

Is Sue Kelly dangerous to families?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Desperado (again!)...

Back in April, we poked at Sue for needing to turn to Arizona Senator John McCain for help with her fundraising. Well, the second quarter numbers are now out and Sue is looking even more desperate. Why? Because the actual people that she depends on to vote for her here in the 19th aren't exactly lining up in droves to contribute to her campaign.

Indeed, a quick look at the second quarter numbers shows that Kelly is increasingly relying on big money PACs to fund her campaign. In the latest quarter, Kelly raised nearly $400,000. What's surprising is that nearly $250,000 of it (about 63%) is from PACs. This is up from the 54% that PAC donations previously represented. With very few exceptions, these PACs aren't located here in the 19th, which begs the question: exactly what do these PACs expect from Kelly in return?

Moving on to the indivdual donations, a quick skim shows that only around half of her individual contributions came from people who live in the district. Not that there's anything wrong with collecting money from people who live outside the district. But between the PACs and the people who don't live in the district, you have to wonder exactly who Sue is working for.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


What a Difference A Week Makes...

On Tuesday, Sue appeared to be very, very concerned about not being briefed about a Bush administration program that tracks financial transactions worldwide. After all, she's chair of the House Financial Services subcommittee that theoretically, at least, oversees exactly this sort of thing.

Said Sue: "Many in Congress who should have been briefed by this administration were not. What else is it that we don't know?". What indeed! As Rep. Barney Frank pointed out neither he nor Sue would have been briefed about this program at all if the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times hadn't been preparing stories on it.

Of course, the hearing on Tuesday was particularly surprising given that only a week earlier, Sue voted to condemn media leaks of what Republican leaders said was classified information -- the very same information Sue appeared to be upset over not knowing about on Tuesday. The pre-vote debate gave Republican hacks a chance to appeal to their conservative base by chastising the New York Times.

What changed from one week to the next? Perhaps Sue got a poll that showed that bashing the New York Times in its own backyard may play well in rural Alabama or other Conservative strongholds, but not in NY-19. How else to explain the sudden about-face?

So, she shuffles a few papers on national TV and makes it look like she's challenging the Bush administration. That might make great theater, but we're betting that people in the district see Sue for the hardcore conservative lackey that she really is.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Voting with the radical fringe...

Last week, Sue showed yet again just how moderate she really is claims to be by voting with the radical fringe of the Republican party on a piece of legislation so crazy, so out-there, that even "the pit bull of the House" on immigration issues, James Sensenbrenner, voted against it. Despite Sue's vote, the legislation failed by a vote of 90 to 318.

So what was Sue's big idea? Requiring passports to enter the U.S. from Canada. Never mind that Canada is a top tourist destination for many Americans and that while statistics vary on exactly how many Americans currently have passports (the low is 5%; the high is around 30%), it's pretty clear that requiring someone to spend nearly $100 just to see Niagara Falls (after all, the better view is in Canada), is a pretty stupid idea. So stupid that even a pit bull didn't fall for it!

Friday, July 07, 2006


Sue Kelly Stiffs Small Business

Seems like Sue Kelly is telling us almost every day what a champion of small business she is. So you’d think that when a proposal is introduced that provides support to small business by making access to financing more available – a proposal supported by 20 small business groups - she’d be right up there, front and center, cheering it on and making sure it gets passed. Right?


Sue voted against this legislation! Sue Kelly voted to continue the burden of additional up front fees – ranging from $1500 to $50,000 - on Small Business Administration loans. Thank goodness the votes of Democrats, augmented by 17 of Sue’s fellow Republicans, foiled the attempt by Sue and her Republican Leadership to prevent passage of this legislation.

So, over Sue’s objections, the House approved an amendment (214 to 207) to an appropriations bill, HR 5672, vote #327, that lowers the cost of the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loan program, by restoring $40 million to the program that had been cut by the Bush Administration. The Bush administration eliminated funding for the program two years ago, forcing small businesses to shoulder the cost of the loan program. As a result, entrepreneurs have had to pay additional upfront fees just to use the program – greatly restricting access to capital that small businesses need to remain the main job creators in the nation.

If you are a small business person, wouldn’t you want your member of Congress to help you get access to the capital you need to build your business?

Well, if that’s what you need, Sue Kelly is not your friend. And we think she knows that – maybe that’s why this vote wasn’t announced in one of her almost daily press releases!

Given Sue's political philosophy, it isn't any surprise that The Drum Major Institute for Public Policy found only 17% of Sue's votes favored the middle class.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Sue's run for the border!

While we didn't know that Sue was such a big fan of Tex-Mex cuisine, we do know that she rarely misses a photo-op that makes her look like she's actually doing something other than taking checks from lobbyists. Which is why we should expect to see pictures of Sue looking tough and donning night-vision goggles, no less -- memories of Michael Dukakis in a tank come to mind -- as she travels to Texas and goes out on a border patrol with two other Congressional show-and-tellers, according to this article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

As the Post-Dispatch delicately noted, the two-day "fact-finding" trip, which needless to say, we're all footing the bill for, is really just grandstanding and is unlikely to contribute anything substantive to the contentious immigration debate. But since when has that ever stopped Sue?

Monday, July 03, 2006


Sue Kelly Opposes Gun Safety

Special thanks to Take19 reader 'Bill' for pointing out this information.

The subject of guns and gun control is always good for creating controversy. However, reasonable folks will agree that gun safety is important and should be a high priority. Well, based on her vote last week, it looks like Sue Kelly is coming down on the side of the UNreasonable.

There was a vote last week in Congress on an amendment to overturn a previously passed legislation that requires safety trigger locks on all handguns sold in America. Thanks in part to Sue, the amendment passed. This ridiculous proposal was introduced by Republican Representative Marilyn Musgrave of Colorado. Her reasoning for overturning the existing gun safety law is below:
Rep. Marilyn Musgrave a Colorado Republican, argued that the added cost of the trigger locks is passed on to gun owners and that they "do not stop accidental shootings."

Now let me take apart the sheer stupidity of Rep. Musgrave's reasoning. First, a trigger lock costs anywhere between five and ten dollars. I found this trigger lock on sale for $4.95. Considering that handguns generally cost at least a few hundred dollars, a five dollar trigger lock is a miniscule expense, especially considering the fact that it prevents children from discharging the weapon should the owner carelessly leave it laying around the home. Second, trigger safety locks DO prevent accidental shootings. That is what they are made for. They prevent anyone without a key for the lock, CHILDREN especially, from finding the gun, showing it to their friends and accidentally shooting someone. Does this make sense Rep. Musgrave?

So, why would Sue Kelly vote for this insane legislation? (Hint: follow the money) Well, anyone with internet access can easily find the reason by doing just a little searching. However, I saved you the time and did the legwork myself. The National Rifle Association is always a big behind the scenes player when it comes to this type of legislation. Now looking at campaign contributions made to Kelly, we can find that the NRA contributed $2,000 to Kelly in just this election cycle and over the past five election cycles kicked in over $17,000 to Sue's campaign coffers. So again, why would Sue vote for this insane legislation? I'd suggest that the answer has to do with money and lots of it. Namely, over $17,000 in campaign contributions. Sell-Out Sue strikes again.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Listening, Hawaii-style...

We couldn't help but notice during a recent trip to Hawaii the large ad in the local newspaper encouraging people to come meet Congressman Ed Case and share their stories with him. It even had a kitschy-sounding name: Talk Story, which seemed downright sentimental, hearkening back to a time when members of Congress did more than hold fundraisers from dusk to dawn. We had no idea whether Case was a Republican or a Democrat, but the idea seemed absolutely intriguing. Imagine a Congressman who actually encouraged his constituents to get in contact with him! One who even provided his direct email address in the ad instead of the ridiculous filter that Sue Kelly has set up to respond to constituents.

When we got back home and spent a few minutes on Google, we realized that Case, a Democrat who represents Hawaii's second district, has a pretty aggressive schedule for these meetings. Which made us wonder -- yet again -- why it's next to impossible for ordinary people to get in contact with Sue Kelly. Do we really need to fork over a big fat check or swear undying loyalty to the Republican party to get some love from Sue? Why can't she hold Talk Story meetings -- or whatever other name she wants to use -- across the 19th district? Why doesn't she provide constituents with a direct email address like Ed Case does? After all, according to this site, she has a "government-issued BlackBerry", which needless to say, we're all footing the bill for.

We're betting that Case is far from the only one doing this sort of thing. So if you happen to find other examples, please post them in the comments section, particularly if they involve New York Reps. After all, don't the people in New York's 19th deserve the same opportunity to talk to their elected officials as the people in Hawaii have?

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