Archive (2008)

Odds and Sods

The Messenger-Post has a story where Massa blames Kuhl for the closure of a local trucking company. It also covers the money numbers.

In the "there's a blog for everything" category, here's a post from one that's devoted to protecting our right to play poker online. Randy Kuhl is rated "F" because he opposes this fundamental right.

Finally, the non-partisan Rothenberg political report has an interesting article on party unity. Stu Rothenberg thinks that Democrats are showing more of it than Republicans.

Another Puzzling Advocacy Group

Judging from their ability to hold rallies, gather one thousand signatures, and to stage protests, Greenpeace is alive and well in the Southern Tier. As with most advocacy groups, the question is whether their sound and fury signifies anything productive.

The Greenpeace energy plan is heavy on solar and wind, against drilling in ANWR, and anti-nuclear. With the exception of wind, which is an important local issue, Massa and Greenpeace are pretty closely allied. Randy Kuhl's energy plan, which mentions alternative energy but puts domestic drilling in the drivers' seat, is far from what Greenpeace wants.

So why they would choose to picket Massa's office, while staging a friendly grip-and-grin with Randy Kuhl, is baffling. Massa's made a point of his availability to local groups, so presumably a Massa/Greenpeace meeting could have been scheduled fairly easily. This is an unforced error on Greenpeace's part.

In an area that already has a negative predisposition towards Greenpeace, it takes only one error to lead to more grief. The action of the Urbana town board, which used the Massa protest as a flimsy pretext for denying a permit for the harmless "Rolling Sunlight" display, demonstrates this fact.

Imagine a deft publicity campaign by an organization working to rebuild a tarnished reputation, and you've imagined the opposite of Greenpeace's actions in the Southern Tier.

More Greenpeace Coverage

The Steuben Courier has two Greenpeace stories. The first covers their Thursday meeting with Randy Kuhl. It makes the obvious point that their organization and Randy Kuhl disagree on many aspects of energy policy, including drilling in ANWR and nuclear power.

The second notes that the town of Urbana went to extraordinary lengths to deny a permit to the organization. Greenpeace wanted to display a bio-diesel powered solar demonstration vehicle, "Rolling Sunlight", in Depot Park. The town council cited Greenpeace's earlier demonstration at the Massa headquarters in Corning as a reason for denying the permit.

The Money Story

The convention and Palin announcement have overshadowed the most important story of the month in the 29th. With a little more than two months left in the race, Eric Massa is out-raising and out-spending Randy Kuhl.

In July and August, Massa took in almost twice Kuhl's haul. He spent that money on TV ads and office staff. Massa spent almost three times the amount that Kuhl did on advertising. He has double the staff on his payroll.

Massa's fundraising was aided by a fundraiser held for him and other New York candidates by Charlie Rangel [NY-15]. He also benefits from netroots involvement via the Act Blue fundraising network.

Kuhl has relied on his standby funding channels: individuals in and around the district, and corporate PACs. About half of his haul came from PACs. He received no obvious help from his colleagues in Congress, presumably because things are tough all over.

Having and spending a little more cash than the incumbent doesn't guarantee anything, but in this district, it's a significant accomplishment that shouldn't be lost in the noise being made by the national contest.

Kuhl on Convention, Palin

The Wall Street Journal reports that Kuhl won't attend the convention, along with a number of other Republicans who face tough races. (The Journal moves Randy to Michigan in that story, but it's New York's Kuhl they're talking about.)

Randy Kuhl is one of the local Republicans quoted in a Corning Leader story on Sarah Palin. He's gung-ho on the choice.

The best Palin quote I've seen so far comes McCain advisor Charlie Black:

She's going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he'll be around at least that long.

Kuhl Raises $117K in 6 Weeks

Randy Kuhl has filed his pre-primary money numbers. He raised $117K in that period, and now has $571K cash on hand.

Massa outspent Kuhl 3 to 1 in the last 6 weeks, including a fairly large media buy (over $200K) for his first commercial. Though Kuhl released a campaign commercial earlier this month, his total media expenditures were around $69K. Kuhl also paid roughly $2,000 to paid signature-gathers to get his name on the ballot.

Update: Exile at Rochesterturning notices that a fair amount of Kuhl's spend ($25K) was for fundraising, $16K of that to fundraising consultants.

Kuhl Meets Greenpeace

Reader Elmer sends today's Corning Leader story [pdf] and jump [pdf], detailing a meeting between Randy Kuhl and some Greenpeace representatives.

Update: Links fixed. Thanks to everyone who wrote in with a heads-up. Sorry about that.

Massa Raises 207K in 6 Weeks

The Massa campaign has announced their pre-primary fundraising numbers. Massa raised $207K (after a $3K refund not shown in the filing), and has $534K on-hand.

Kuhl's filing hasn't hit the FEC website yet.

Morning News: Jobs

Massa's new jobs plan received scant coverage in the local media. WXXI was the only area news outlet covering yesterday's Massa press conference.

As part of its press package, the Massa campaign released a report [pdf] from the state Department of Labor showing that an Elmira Weyerhaeuser plant was shut down because of trade issues.

Update: Reader Elmer sends the Corning Leader story [pdf] (and jump [pdf]) on the Massa jobs program.

News Roundup: PACs and Massa's Father

The D&C has discovered that most corporate political action committees (PACs) give to Republicans and incumbents.

Sean Carroll at 13WHAM has a blog post about the letter from Massa's father, which includes the text of the letter.

Massa Press Conference: Jobs Plan

Today's Massa press conference discussed Massa's new jobs plan [pdf].

Massa began by discussing a Kuhl quote in yesterday's D&C story about the race:

Randy Kuhl defied anyone to show him jobs lost because of free trade. I just concluded a press conference in front of an abandoned factory where Rochesterians used to work, which was driven out of business due to free trade

Massa had two other examples, both of which were accentuated by individuals at the press conference. One was the closing of an auto parts plant in Canandaigua, and the other was a plant in Elmira.

Free trade has destroyed living wage jobs in this country. I've stood throughout my candidacy for fair trade, for leveling the playing field for American industry by addressing the shortage of health care, and for the necessity of creating living-wage jobs. Unfortunately, Randy Kuhl defies anyone to show jobs that have been lost. He's so out of touch with what's happening in America that it makes John McCain's lack of knowledge of how many houses he has look insignificant in comparison.
A reporter from The Capital newspaper asked Massa to talk a bit about green collar jobs.
We're very lucky in the 29th District to have significant institutions like the University of Rochester and RIT, and Cornell only a few miles away [...] The U of R is a global leader in biotech, one of the new industrial frontiers of the 21st Century. [...] I believe we can cure cancer in our lifetime. My opponent believes in cutting funding for R&D.

Massa also mentioned the GM Hydrogen R&D facility in the district. He thinks that needs to be expanded to "something akin to the Manhattan Project. We must move away in a decade from requiring fossil fuels for our transportation."

I asked Massa for his take on the convention, and whether he thought the PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) phenomenon was a media one or a real one.

Massa said that he chose to stay in the district rather than going to Denver, but he's been following the convention closely. He said he "commended Senator Clinton on leadership, on the manner in which she presented herself, not only on unity, but also on 'no way, no how, no McCain'."

He said he thought the PUMA story was a media phenomenon, "I have not met anyone who was backing Senator Clinton, including myself, who is not absolutely thrilled about moving forward and bringing this country under the new leadership of Barack Obama."

Finger Lakes News Radio asked Massa about the cost of his jobs program.

Right now our government has decided to invest in incredibly expensive failures. We have sent 3 trillion dollars to Baghdad. If those funds had been available for true 21st Century job creation in America, we would not be having the problems we are having now. It's all about priorities.

Massa said that a new federal health policy is a way to save money, not spend it. He also mentioned that he wanted to end giveaways to the Iraqi government.

I've been accused of being someone who would raise taxes. That's almost laughable considering how much spending has increased under my opponent. [...] This administration and Randy Kuhl have already raised your taxes to astronomical levels [by increasing the deficit]. Now we have the bill to pay, unfortunately.

Massa's Father Gets More Press

Joe Spector, Gannett political reporter, has a post on the D&C political blog on the recent Massa-Kuhl dust-up. It includes Emddio Massa's letter, and the WETM video.