Zeller Makes the Strategic Argument

In today's Corning Leader, Matt Zeller says:

“You’ll get representation from Rochester or Buffalo or Syracuse,” Zeller said Wednesday. “I’ve already been told by state Democrats if I win this thing, the seat stays pretty much the way it is. If I lose, this seat goes bye-bye. The people of Corning will be represented by someone from Rochester or Syracuse or Buffalo.”

I think this is probably true. The reality of reapportionment is that New York is going to lose seats, and with that loss, there are probably enough Democrats in Western New York to create a new set of Congressional majority-Democrat districts. If Zeller held the seat, the Democrats would want to keep him in, so they'd gerrymander around him. If it's Reed, they'll move the borders in a way that makes him run against, say, Maurice Hinchey. Or they'll create a district that would have Chris Lee and Tom Reed fight it out for the nomination, and the district would still have enough Democrats that the winner of that fight would have an uphill climb to keeping their seat.

After reapportionment, those of us living in the Rochester suburbs probably won't be represented by Tom Reed. My guess is that we'll have one Monroe County district instead of the four-way mess (NY-25, NY-26, NY-28 and NY-29) that we have now.


Is it the state assembly or the state senate that decides redistricting (or both)? Because the state senate is very much up for grabs.

As for 'stays pretty much the way it is', if NY loses two seats that's just not going to be possible, and even if it's just one seat that's going to mean a game of musical chairs for incumbents. Whoever is in NY-29 will not be up for re-election because the seat will be gone.

Anyway, nobody's voting on that. Way too 'inside baseball'.

I hope you've secured Fighting28th.com...

Most people think it's going to be down to 27 districts - 28 is being optimistic.

Here's New York law:


If the Senate is not Democratic, then there will have to be compromises. But with the trend of registration, Republicans are going to have a tough time having more than 1 majority-Republican district in WNY, if that many.

Of course, party registration doesn't guarantee which party will win, but once you get a Democrat elected in even a slightly majority-Democrat district, it's hard to unseat him or her. Maffei is a good example - mediocre campaigner, good fundraiser, but once he got rid of Walsh, no good Republican would run against him.

My issue with this statement is that it Zeller had to give something in order to receive these kind of assurances from the Democratic big wigs. It actually places him in a negative light in that it appears he will not be working at the behest of the people, but of the party. If he votes against the party then they won't save his seat.

Bad move Mr. Zeller. Sounds like you will represent Albany's interest in Washington, not the 29th's.

I don't read that sentence as Matt had to cut a deal with Washington or Albany, I read it more as common sense. If NY loses 2 seats, and Democrats control redistricting, it makes perfect sense they'd keep his district.

Take a look at his FEC filing, neither the State or Federal parties have given him anything. Why would he have any allegiance to them?

As much as I hate to admit it, you do have a point. I hate that Tom Reed has been bought and paid for by the RNCC and you can see it in how he just basically parrots back Republican talking points. I want a Congressman that can think for themselves, so I'll probably be voting for Janice. She's a lot of things, but I don't think a rubber stamp is one of them!

I don't buy that Matt signed on to be a rubber stamp for Democrats. Look at his stances....he's Pro gun (he showed his NRA card on Coleman and Company), said he would've voted against Obamacare, and is against Cap and Tax.

I don't see how you could read those policies and think Washington (or Albany) Democrats are pulling his strings

It's not all monetary. If he is elected he will have to do what they say regardless of what his constituents want to get money and keep the district in 2012. Look what happened to Massa when he voted the peoples' will!

Don't you mean look what happened to Eric Massa after he snorkeled members of his staff?

I think he was railroaded and that the allegations were exaggerated.

Not all monetary? It really is. Not a single sitting member of Congress, or any elected office for that matter, can honestly say that they'll be able to get re-elected on their convictions and good will, and not money. Massa is a perfect example of that.

Pre-election, he touted how he would never take a corporate dollar because "he responds to, and would vote for, the people -- not big business." But yet, the second he got elected -- his newest pool of donors were just that -- Corporate America.

I think if we're going to elect someone, it should definitely be the person that has the conviction to tell you what he thinks, in front of you -- not a money-hungry corporate puppet that has yet to fully discuss the issues in a public forum, with ALL candidates involved.

So Matt Zeller, who lives in s suburb of of Rochester, is warning Corning voters that if he doesn't win, their representative might be from Rochester?

He may live near Rochester -- but his roots are in the Southern Tier.

Or Victor, or Rochester, or Washington, DC... depending on the day.

His roots are in the Southern Tier? Finding a long-lost relative's house in Hornell doesn't mean that he understands what's it's like to live there.

Zeller has my vote. He's not some fat slob of a politician who attacks our President. He put himself on the line, serving in the Army in a frontline war zone. He doesn't talk the "party line" line like Reed. He's not in it for himself. He has a clear message on jobs, America and what is wrong with the Government right now. He's young strong and energenic. I met him and I was really impressed with him. So I dont know how anyone can say he won't do a good job for our district. I have to wonder how many of you have paid attention to him or his message. Or are you all just Reed and Volk staff members?

I at least give him credit for answering the question that was asked him. Where's Reed's take in this article? I have to imagine he was asked, and his silence means that he no commented. His answer may not be politically correct, but the fact he at least answered is refreshing

I'm a life long resident of Corning that saw how Reed operated when in office, and I'm petrified he'll represent us in Congress. I don't know much about Zeller, just that his signs are starting to go up all over Corning.

People that haven't got to witness Reed up close and personal like we have should know the real Tommy Boy. Anyone but Reed!


Zeller signs in Corning? Very cool.....I've always had the sense that Mr. Reed isn't, well, the most popular person down there. He defeated Cocho (sp?) but that fellow was notoriously over-the-top and disliked.

Rotten - it isn't your fault, but your blog is starting to appear like an apparatus of the Zeller campaign.

Though you have to admit it seemed like an offshot of the Volk campaign for a while there.

Very true. I love this blog.

It did!!!

"I’ve already been told by state Democrats if I win this thing, the seat stays pretty much the way it is." State Democrats claim they want to redistrict Republicans into oblivion for the next 20 years. This probably means they put a bigger chunk of metro Rochester into the district and either force a primary or one of the two to retire. That's still "pretty much the way it is."

So, basically, it's this. Vote for Zeller and have the district gerrymandered so he wins for as long as he wants the seat. Vote for Reed and have the district broken up and gerrymandered so that Brian Higgins, Weezy Slaughter, and/or Michael Arcuri win for as long as they want the seat. With that in mind, though, as a conservative, I wouldn't mind being gerrymandered into Chris Lee's seat.

I have a better solution: As unsavory as it sounds, and as much as I hate the way the Senate Republicans have conducted business, give them back the Senate. At least you'll have a check and balance on the redistricting process.

I give Zeller points for being honest. And I think he's right: If Reed wins (likely) then the district will disappear during redistricting.

I also suspect that like Reed, Zeller is in the pocket of his party. My vote is for Janice Volk - a true independent.

Zeller isn't in the pocket of his party. Out of all of his donors, he's received practically NO support from federal or state Democratic committees. He's running this thing alone because his party has already given up the seat. If there's any true independent in the 29th, it's Zeller, hands-down.

Let us understand what is at stake here, folks. The issue of redistricting is one example of how a form of governance asserts C-O-N-T-R-O-L of its citizens.

Just a factoid bit, the LAST GOVERNOR from NORTH of RHINEBECK, was Nathan L. Miller, 01-01-1921, til 12-31-1922, 88 YEARS PAST. This IS a DEMONSTRATION of C-O-N-T-R-O-L by an entity I have named, The (D)ownstate-(M)etro-(NY) City Coalition; the D-M-NY. It is comprised of the fourteen southern-most counties, starting with Ulster and Dutchess, and going to Montauk Pt., Suffolk; and as far west as to include Sullivan County. This is MY definition of Downstate. The "NY Times," says "...anything west, and north, of the Hudson River, is the "wild and wooly West." That would include what is considered as Upstate.

Btaim, the D-M-NY has 68% of the POPULATION, and absolute C-O-N-T-R-O-L of the State ASSembly; the body that C-O-N-T-R-O-L-S the TAX levies, and DISTRIBUTION OF such state revenues.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/99/NY_Congressional_Dist... is a map that CLEARLY shows the present configuration of Congressional Districts. NOTE WELL(N.B.), that there are only EIGHT such districts that do NOT HAVE ANY portion that contains a connection TO a county that IS part of the D-M-NY.

The Census Of 2010 will force a re-design.

My bet is REGARDLESS of the winner in the NY-29th, it will go away. The SECOND district to vanish will be the 23rd. WHY? LARGE territory, few bodies/voters. NO big loss of political consequence.

"In Case You Missed It," yes, this IS a title of a communication authored by former Congressman, Tom Reynolds. Ever since the Rockefeller years, ALL state offices that either MAKE policy, or INFLUENCE policy are to be held by residents FROM the D-M-NY area. Reason? I speculate that due to imbalance of resources, the D-M-NY wants what Upstate has as treasure, WATER, Marcellus Shale, and NIAGARA ELECTRIC power. If you don't WANT to accept this, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!!

The present head of the Power Authority, the one that wants wind towers in Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie; PLUS, buy such generated power at MORE THAN current COMPETITIVE rate, IS from the D-M-NY. That means even HIGHER home energy bills for cash-strapped citizens to cope with.

However, the bottom line WAS that when Amo Houghton retired, the hatchet men went straight away to see to it that that district was reduced to have a more northern composition, a/o residency of the representative. As for the reps being domiciled in one of the Erie Canal communities, loss of "hometown" will not be totally absent from some of the other northern districts; including the NY-25, 26, 28.

In Mr. Zeller's case, the part that is unclear is what the plans are for Louise Slaughter, of the 28th? The GOP has wanted her gone for years, but she IS 82, eh? Still spry, though. HER district will certainly be "revised." Ms. Slaughter has SENORITY, and CONNECTIONS that are going to be quite USEFUL for our delegation in Congress, after 2012. Mr. Zeller will have two years at best, then what???

As a pivitol Great Lakes state, NYS will now be on the DEFENSIVE in maintaining the integrity of the Lower Lakes. Many Upstate communities use these lakes for public water, and to attract industry. Loss of lake levels will have a dangerous impact on not only OUR efforts but OTHER states that border the lakes, AND New England as well.

MY, personal take is that Mr. Zeller will be a voting as a Democrat. Washington IS where he MIGHT want to gavitate to, but as Congressman, NOT on a permanent status. As a frosh Rep., he will have to be seduced, first; same with whomever wins.

Thus, the CHOICE for the 29th IS: WHICH candidate will best advance, and PROTECT the interests of the NY-29th? Mr. Reed, the Radical Republican, Mr. Zeller, who PROBABLY will vote to keep Ms. Nancy, or, Ms. Volk, a candidate that has ALREADY published a "Conservative Pledge," posted on her web site.

Vote, vote Wisely, BUT VOTE!!!


Reed a radical Republican???? He's a moderate fiscal Republican who gives every indication he will just tow the Party line. Zeller is far more deserving of the title "radical" - and Volk is even more "radical" than he is.


Thanks for your come-back.

My description of Mr. Reed as a RADICAL REPUBLICAN is derived by that section of the GOP that apes the goals and philosophy of Thaddeus Stevens, and Charles Sumner, plus the help of Henry Jarvis Raymond, of the "N. Y. Times." It is THIS section of the GOP that dominates their policies, and what they stand for, today.

You can read about this group from a nimber of sources, I have chosen to use these two:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_Republicans, and http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-radical-republicans.htm. The GREAT GOOGLE has 412,000 entries on this subject, even THIS, from the U. K.: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USASradical.htm.

The RADICAL faction is more devoted to furthering the interests of the rich, landed, and business owners; at the expense of all else. Typical vocals call for reduced government, low taxes(for the rich, ala "W" style(??)), and NO TAXES on personal and corporate income----for THEM, NOT "Mr. & Mrs. Main Street."

Case in point, the former Senator, and actor, Fred Thompson was aksed regards the cessation of "W's" tax cuts for the rich. His reply was that the rich and ultra rich will move their money around(off shore???) and ONLY those at the top portions of the UPPER MIDDLE CLASS; those that own corporations that have about 1,000 employees, or earn mega bucks for short services rendered. Plastic Surgeons, for example. These are the victims of the lapsing of the Bush Tax Cuts.

This is ALSO an important part of the Small Business segment that is part of any economic recovery. So why TAX INITIATIVE? I know of one eager small business man that wants to INVEST, but sees NO opportunities available. Time is short to spare these people, too from the rapicious tax collector. C:\Users\Tom\Pictures\irx_dees.jpg.

The Radical Republicans want NO taxes upon themselves, or businesses; plus NO government oversight of their activities. Additionally, a strong national defense.

The Dems want EXPANDING government via increased BUREACRACY.

The result is INCREASED TAXES on ALL OTHER parties.

Mr. Reed falls under the RR banner as he is for unrestricted drilling of the Marcellus Shale. A project that will bring woe to all residents IF this process is followed. Research the fate of Dimock Township, Susquehanna County, Pa. NO PUBLIC water due to fouled wells. Do you feel comfortable with an elected official that is prone to sacrificing the source of LIFE for a cheaper fuel to warm his tush????

Ms. Volk has produced a "Pledge Page," a DOCUMENT that NEITHER Messrs. Reed and Zeller have recognized, nor have chosen to respond TO. www.janiceforcongress.com. This is NOT a radical move, but certainly she has to be a bit more pointed to get her message across.

Since I live outside the 29th, but in a county that has PART OF the 29th, I have noted quite a lack of news regards the race in the 29th; as it pertains to info ABOUT the CANDIDATES, and their platforms. This IS ALLOWED by NY LAW. Why? Write-In candidates are considered NON-SENSE office seekers, and are viewed as having NO meaningful points of interest TO the ELECTORATE.

http://www.jstor.org/pss/1341593, is a Harvard Law Review that relates that STATES are prohibited from denying the WRITE-IN ballot OPTION TO the voters.

It seems that Write-In CANDIDATES are judged as being less credible due to NO political party backing. Hence, "Capitol Tonight" REFUSED to allow Ms. Volk to participate in their debate show relative to the NY-29th. Now, I ask YOU, LEE do YOU FEEL that YOU are so less intelligent as to be DENIED the OPPORTUNITY to see ALL district office seekers debate the issues that are important TO the NY-29Th? That Ms. Volk can NOT articulate good enough to make a coherent thought conveyance through the agency of speech.? Exactly WHEN did the management OF "Capitol Tonight" receive empowerment to JUDGE all us "Little People." to be so mentally defficient as to NOT comprehend one candidate over another?

This IS another example of OUR STATE government C-O-N-T-R-O-L-L-I-N-G YOUR availability of CHOICES for this office. Only MAJOR, a/o supportive MINOR party-backed candidates are capable of communicating with the ELECTORATE as to whom will be the chosen representative.

Regardless of WHOM you support for the post of Rep., this race IS far more interesting than the race for the NY-26th, a/o the NY-28th.

As for DEFINITIONS of polity, I use 19th century wording: from an e-mail I sent to a columnist:
"...Let me state that I PREFER to use 19th Century definitions as to what is a: Conservative, Liberal, Reactionary, and Radical. These are the major philosophies that govern human political outlook.

Conservative: one who changes because it is NECESSARY TO CHANGE.

Liberal: one who changes simply for the activity OF changing. Many times A change is inaugurated for NO real, tangible reason.

Reactionary: one who changes conduct to RETAIN, or RETURN to mannerisms, or systemologies of a previous era. M. Chauvin, was such a person; the person from whom we derive the term, CHAUVINISTIC. His loyalty was to the recently deposed Emperor Napoleon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Chauvin. An extreme form of conservatism. A case for the Taliban form as reactionary social mores is very possible, here.

Radical: The extreme form of Liberalism; that being the virtual absence of any governing authority, save one's own imposed code. The use of terrorism as a form of warfare might be included here. This is due to the fact that there are no "Codes Of Conduct," as a traditional army would understand such; that any and all societal targets are "fair game." There is an absence of considering that a victory does come with SOME benefit other than total subjugation of the enemy. Such radicals would rather destroy all for the purpose of depriving the owners the use of their assets, no matter how described..."

Whether you agree, or not, the point is that Messrs Reed and Zeller enjoy a STATE imposed "Imperator" by virtue of a political party alliance. Ms. Volk, AND the ELECTORATE are NOT granted the SAME treatment by the Fourth Estate. Hence, Ms. Volk MUST be more "inventive," and aggressive(??) to reach the voters of the NY-29th.