Kuhl Fundraising Letter

Reader Richard sends Randy Kuhl's fundraising letter for Tom Reed [pdf]. Here's a sample:

Specifically, Massa is on the record in favor of a single-payer government administered healthcare system that would ration healthcare, and has voted to support the Presidents so-called "stimulus" package that funded liberal pet projects without any boost to our economy.

The whole thing is worth a read.


Thank you, all of you, for sharing this gem. In a way, I'm happy to see Randy still in the game...even if it's signing off, undoubtedly without an edit, on some red meat direct-mail produced somewhere in D.C. "A loyal liberal foot soldier." LOL. You gotta love it.

I also thought it was pretty funny to ask for a "grassroots movement" in a district that's mainly Republican.

As far as I am concerned, you cannot have a "grassroots" effort when you are probably a millionaire and have the support of a long-time political family like the Houghton's behind you. If this District is going to get the representation it deserves, then it needs someone young and unconnected who is willing to take on the party hacks (both parities) while focusing on the tenants set forth in our constitution. Undoubtedly they will need to have conservative flair, but maintain a commitment to tolerance, inclusiveness and clearly defined goals that someone with an eighth-grade education can understand. Any thoughts?

The problem with "taking on the party hacks" is that it takes a couple of million dollars to run a campaign. The party hacks have become hacks because they have connections to the money.

Massa is about as independent as one can be while still running a viable campaign. You might disagree with his politics (he doesn't have a "conservative flair") but he is far more independent than the average Member of Congress from either party.

You make a valid point with respect to Massa's independece, except that he votes the party line about 95% of the time. He doesn't really represent the people he has been charged with representing. What I think is that we need a fervor of citizens to start taking personal responsiblity for protecting their freedoms. I do not believe that Massa is the man to create that fervor. If calculated correctly, the fighting 29th could be a catalyst for a national movement. One that seeks to focus on constituionally preserved freedoms while simulataneously ensuring the longevity of the natuaral resources that exist here. There will always be differences of opinion, but we should stop focusing on the problems and start focusing on our convergent goals and the solutions. Any thoughts?

That 95% number is a misleading statistic, because the many of votes in Congress are party-line procedural votes, or votes on resolutions that are close to unanimous. 5% against his party is actually quite independent.

The real question for each voter is whether Massa represents them on the issues which have come up for a vote while he's been in Congress. There's a great resource to figure that out, compiled by a non-partisan group called Project Vote Smart. You can see Massa's record on what they consider significant votes here:


Also, I hear "doesn't represent the people" all the time. How do you know that? Do you have a poll taken recently in the district that shows disagreement with Massa? The last poll I'm aware of is one taken in November, and at that poll, Massa was elected.

It's my understanding that there are about 85,000 independents in the District. Massa won by a small margin of about 5,000 votes. Probably on the coattails of Obama fever. I do not believe that he will win in 2010. The off-year elections in our district tend to bring out the more conservative voters. With that in mind, I think we need a candidate who can draw the young and old alike. I know that Massa is tenacious, and he may be doing some good. However, he is still perpetrating an agenda that flies in the face of the constitution.

Don't you think that every piece of Federal legislation should be read through the lens of the constitution? Shouldn't the Federal government's main objecting be the preservation of freedom with an emphasis on state sovereignty that encourages competition among the states? Any thoughts?

I think you're right that 2010 is going to be a tougher election year than 2008.

All this talk of "the constitution" is very broad. What's Massa doing that is unconstitutional? All federal legislation is read through the lens of the constitution since the judiciary can rule it unconstitutional, and has done so. States rights vs federal rights is a constant balancing act and I'm sure we agree on some cases and disagree on others. Same is true of competition between the states - some of it is good, some not.

In theory the acts of congress and the President are done through a lens of the constitution. However, we do not hear our government speaking of it. That is to say: was the invasion of Iraq constitutional; the PATRIOT ACT; were the two bailout bails constitutional; is the current healthcare legislation constitutional? Before we can determine if it is necessary, we must decide whether it meets constitutional standards. Using the courts is an afterthought, not wisdom and foresight. I think we need representatives who make the Constitution the starting line, not the finish line. Any thoughts?

The Supreme Court established "loose interpretation" in 1819 (McCulloch v. Maryland) so the Constitution can change as the country changes without going through the amending process every time. If it weren't for that, the Constitution probably wouldn't have lasted a century. We wouldn't have tolerated being stuck with a 1787 document. With loose interpretation, a lot is covered under the government's responsibility to "provide for the common defense' and "promote the general welfare of the people of the United States". That would cover all of the examples that you used..... although Iraq was certainly a major stretch.... as were some parts of the Patriot Act.... but that's open to Court interpretation.