Stating The Obvious

Given Paladino's crushing defeat of Lazio, Janice Volk really missed an opportunity when she missed the ballot. She coulda been a contender, at minimum.


Joseph Bassage
Janice Volk for Congress
(607) 661-8886

Volk challenges Tom Reed and Matt Zeller to a debate

Cuba, New York. September 15, 2010.

NY-29 Write-In Congressional Candidate Janice Volk (R-Cuba, NY) challenges two NY-29 Congressional Candidates Matt Zeller (D-Victor) and Tom Reed (R-Corning) to a debate. Mrs. Volk says, “The people of NY-29 deserve to see how each of the three mainstays in this race stand on key issues. From campaigning around the district, people have told me that they have serious concerns with Tom Reed. I share these concerns and I want to use this debate as way to demand answers from Mr. Reed.”
Volk continues, “It is our job to hold both of these Political Machine candidates accountable for the people’s sake. Because neither candidate has put their platform in writing, the voters do not really know what each candidate stands for. I will use this debate as an opportunity to again show the voters of NY-29 that I am the best choice to represent them in Washington, D.C.”

Volk states, “You have a candidate in Mr. Reed who is a self-serving, medical collections attorney and another candidate in Mr. Zeller who is too young to have experienced any of the trials we in the 29th have carried - he has not lived in this district long enough to know the daily struggles that residents face. Then, there is Mr. Campini, or should I say, ‘where in the world is Mr. Campini?’”

Volk finishes, “I want to make it very clear to NY-29 residents that I will debate Mr. Reed and Mr. Zeller anytime, anywhere. I am comfortable with my stances on the key issues that affect NY-29; I would think that they would be confident enough to engage me in a friendly debate. I look forward to their respective responses very soon.”


How interesting that Volk can only find fault with Zeller on two counts - his youth and not living in the district long enough.

Zeller was born (in a family with 8 generations in the district), raised and lived in the district until he was deployed to a war....a war in which he was almost killed in action, in which he was responsible for an entire military base as well as training Afghan army and police. He has TWO master degrees - in International Relations and Public Administration. He has national top-security clearance and is a Captain in the Army Reserves and is still an intelligence specialist. (If anyone contests this information, it's a matter of public record anyone can look up, if they care to believe fact over speculation and fallacy.)

No, not too many 28-year-olds have had that kind of experience. Nor has a llama-raising grandmother. I would love to see her debate Matt Zeller - she has no idea what she's up against! I've heard him speak at a number of meetings now and he is one impressive young man who really knows his stuff.

As for Volk's remarks about Tom Reed - he has proven again and again the truth of that assessment.

Wow, I bet you are also going to tell us that Zeller is half cyborg. We'll have the "Super Solider" versus "the Llama-Raising G'Ma" versus "the Evil Collections Attorney." If this race were an action flick it might get interesting.

I'll always take a conservative grandma over a Democrat. Always.

He also follows the liberal Democratic line on moral issues like abortion. Unacceptable. He'll just provide us with more of the same.
I'd prefer someone who shows a little independence. (The same knock can be made against Reed.)

Reed has run a solidly conservative campaign from the get-go and doesn't have the political baggage Lazio does. Ontario County's Conservative party members are as staunch as conservatives get and they're happy with Reed. I don't really see where Volk was ever going to get serious traction. She also lacks the resources of a Paladino.

Notable instances of Tea Party backed candidates knocking off the establishment candidate have centered around the defeat of a long-time politician. Castle had a track record, Murkowski had a track record, Bennett had a track record, etc. Reed has been mayor of Corning for a short time.

That's not to say Volk couldn't have come up with a case... just not the kind of straightfoward case that motivates conservatives and would overcome the lack of daylight between her stated positions and Reed's.

And also, having heard Zeller, I'd probably vote for him over Volk. I wish there were 200 of him in congress (to replace any Democrats who survive in November ;) )

Don't disagree, but she would have made it interesting...

A Conservative supporting a Democrat? Never heard of such a thing?

area tea parties are NOT "happy" with Reed. Many have been usurped by Republican hacks.
And Reed lacks "resources..."??? So only people with a deep campaign fund should be voted for?
Reed... truth here:

W i t h o u t q u e s t i o n. The percentage of GOP voters here in Steuben, for instance, who bucked the party choice and sought out Paladino was remarkable. And I think it applied throughout the district. There are so many what-might-have-beens this year....Tom Reed was born under a lucky star and, well, who knows....maybe for a reason. We shall see....

Steuben had what seems like a lot of write-ins for every office but town justices. What's up with that, or do we have to wait for the next Courier?

One problem with this assertion is that Tom Reed has been supported by the Conservative Party and the Tea Partiers in Steuben, Yates, and Ontario for well over a year - he actually is a Tea Party candidate in that sense - the Steuben and Yates Tea Party folks even circulated his petitions and contributed to his campaign - and they remain supportive of him.

Volk is a flake who keeps getting flakier. The one who could really benefit from this discontent with the establishment is Zeller except that he can't seem to take any real stands on issues.

Read the press release above. Volk looks worse everytime - voters don't want candidates who just bash others. Zeller and Volk need more of a message than "I am not Tom Reed." The other problem is that Reed is not an incumbent. Bashing will work better 2 years from now.

Jan is the only candidate to put her platform in writing, it is called her Conservative Pledge. Mr. Reed has not done this, he just side-steps around the tough questions. Your statement that Jan is just bashing Mr. Reed is inaccurate. And, it is not bashing Mr. Reed, it is telling the truth and sometimes the truth hurts!

Jan and our campaign have very much respect for Matt Zeller and all armed forces members that protect our daily freedoms (including Jan's son-in-law, just returning from his 4th tour in Iraq).

I'm not sure how someone can experience the trials and tribulations of NY-29 when not living in the district for many years, and with most of his life in NY-29 he was not an adult having to really make the tough choices the great residents of NY-29 do on a daily basis. This is no disrespect to the man, it is just the facts. Jan has worked, volunteered, raised a family, farms and owns a small business in this district. This positions Mrs. Volk well to devise and support legislation that will truly allow NY-29 to prosper. We all are allowed to have our own opinion; Jan and our campaign believe that she has "lived" the issues that affect our district more than Mr. Reed and Mr. Zeller.

As for Tom Reed, how can he be considered a Conservative/Tea Party candidate? According to the Conservative Party of NY website, it says that they support “cuts across the board; every agency and program must have significant spending cuts." The Tea Party was founded on an anti-tax sentiment. With this said, Mr. Reed campaigned in 2007 for Corning mayor on a platform that included his opposition to resident tax increases. However, Mr. Reed voted yes in 2008 and 2009 to increase property taxes in excess of 3% for City of Corning residents. You don't see the contradiction there? If he can’t keep his promises to the voters of Corning, what makes you think he will keep his promises to the residents of NY-29? This is just one example of many to come.

Jan has been asked to take part in 2 debates thus far, hopefully with more to come. Jan is very confident to debate both candidates; she has been speaking at many town/village meetings, Tea Party meetings, church groups and so on. The goal of the Volk campaign has been to just present stances on key issues and facts about the candidates and then let the voters decide – democracy at its finest.

We are releasing a few press releases per week so voters know exactly where Jan stands on local and national issues. Check it out on the campaign website: If you would like to discuss anything, please contact me personally:

That has to be one of the only times I've ever seen a candidate who's not even on the ballot be invited to a debate. Heck, people ON ballots aren't even invited to debates quite often.

If she's invited, I want to debate, too. After all, fair is fair.

Take a look and see the meeting minutes for yourself that Tom Reed voted YES to raise Corning city taxes in 2008 & 2009.

So did either Zeller or Reed respond to the Volk debate challenge? Or is that, as I suspect it will, destined for a "quiet burying."

I don't think Zeller should be knocked on for being young, but when I see his campaign facebook page, I have some reservations with his focus on Star Wars over pressing issues. He really shouldn't be focusing on "awesome" with the general so close if he is a serious candidate.!/pages/Matt-Zeller/110104992354017

You can't be watching your favorite youtube video and checking your latest friend requests when you're sitting in the halls of congress! He may be a bit to immature for the job. Not because of his age, but because of him.

What say you Rotten?

Given the visceral anger of NY politics as of late, its refreshing to see someone (Zeller) with a sense of humor.

You all bash on Zeller, but when's the last time you sat in Afghanistan on 9/11 and contemplated your place in life...

Zeller strikes me as an interesting character. His blog posts show him to be an intelligent and deeply introspective person:

I've had the chance to meet him now several times and have found him to be well versed in all the relevant issues -- he really has done his homework.

But more importantly, I am glad that he's never held office before. We've had years and years of career politicians and people of my "generation" (baby boomers) and its got us nothing but a massive mess that his generation is going to inherit. For one, I'm glad that he's interested enough to run and make a difference -- I wish more of his generation was.

I think its great to see someone new like Zeller who isn't bound by the traditional rules that so many on this blog want to chain him with (i.e. "run for local office and work your way up through the system")...If anything, we should be thankful someone so new has come along. He hasn't been tainted by NY politics and the political machines of the Democrats and the Republicans. He's free to be his own man. I like that. I think its just what we need. And I like that he's up at 1:30am on a Friday sharing a video he found "awesome"...shows he has a sense of humor and is a regular person.

I agree with you to some extent, in that it is nice to see someone who has not been groomed by the NY political system. But Zeller will clearly tow the party line and will bend in whatever direction the Democratic party tells him to, a Gumby of sorts. He has aligned himself with Slaughter and fits nicely into the cookie-cutter mold of the quintessential liberal that has become so pervasive in the Democratic party.

In reality, the Democrats of today are not the Democrats of yesteryear. My grandfather was a staunch Democrat and loved to talk politics. If he were still alive today he would not recognize the party he was so proud of. In fact, he would have probably found both Reed and Zeller too liberal and misaligned with the America he grew up in.

Really, the entire fervor around theses elections is more about the irrelevance of the current two party system, specifically the parties in power. Most people do not realize that the Democrats and Republicans are nothing more than 1st Amendment voluntary associations which over time have amassed the majority of political power in this country unto themselves. Due to this unfortunate circumstance, the men and women who run for office must align themselves in such a way that independent thought and free ideas become a collateral issue to towing the party line. In my view, this is one of main reasons campaign promises are broken. Independent thought is stripped once elected under a party banner. It's almost as if they are cults hell-bent on proselytizing one brand of political "religion". Either you are in or you are out.

I think it is unfortunate that this District could not produce a better candidate regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof. I am not a teabagger, but I appreciate what it is that the movement is doing. It is bringing to light that party loyalty is unnecessary and we must start getting behind people who will represent the America that was founded on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The down side of the movement is that it too may just become another 1st Amendment voluntary association that does nothing more than siphon off from the first two for a short time.

I for one am becoming staunchly independent and more cynical by the day. But, hey, I still sort of like politics.

Just my thoughts, thanks for reading.

"You all bash on Zeller, but when's the last time you sat in Afghanistan on 9/11 and contemplated your place in life..."

I assume you voted for McCain over Obama - because what McCain did makes Zeller look like he was out on a picnic.

and how exactly does this compare to Tom Reed? Sorry I was unaware of his service to our country...oh wait he didn't serve did he...

Neither did Obama - or Clinton - so if you tell me you voted for George HW Bush, Bob Dole and John McCain I will certainly consider voting for Zeller

Actually I did vote for George H. W. Bush, Dole, and McCain...and I'll be voting for Zeller. Please do consider him Elmer.

And Tom claims he isn't a debt collector...

Maybe you can start covering the governor's race and how it will impact the 29th! It's a lot more interesting.


Given how long Reed has been at it, how little time Zeller has had and how much more time (6 weeks could bring about a lot of changes), Reed's "lead" is pretty shaky and very unimpressive - like the man.

reedeads in this poll. per corning leader. even ahead in monroe!

To Zeller's credit, his campaign said Volk is welcome to participate in the debate. Reed's folks got her bumped from the ballot, and don't want to give her a chance to have her say.