Archive (2008)

WHAM-13 Story: The Art of Not Debating

Reader Tom sends a story from 13-WHAM's Sean Carroll, who reports on how politicians in numerous races in the area are ducking debates. Randy Kuhl apparently initially turned down an invitation for 13-WHAM, but has since reconsidered.

The Second Campaign

I received my first glossy mailer [pdf] of the campaign yesterday, and it wasn't from Eric Massa or Randy Kuhl. Responsible New York, the political action committee founded by billionaire Tom Golisano, sent a mailer on behalf of David Nachbar, the Democratic candidate for New York Senate in the 55th Senate District.

The 55th contains the same set of Monroe County (Rochester) suburbs as the 29th district, plus some others to the west and north. The Rochester suburbs are extremely important to the Massa campaign. In the last election, about 1/3 of the votes cast came from Monroe County, and Massa won Monroe by 14 points.

Nachbar's opponent, Jim Alesi, has been in office for 12 years, about the same time that I've lived in his district. I don't recall a single serious challenge to Alesi during that time. Nachbar has the potential to mount that challenge. He's got money, is well-spoken, and has an solid business background. If he energizes Democrats in the Northern 29th, Massa's victory margin here could make it tough for Kuhl to make up the difference in the traditionally Republican Southern Tier.

In Other Blogs: Social Security, Batiste/Eaton Endorsement

Exile at Rochesterturning has a post on Social Security and the Massa/Kuhl campaign of 2006.

Jerri Kaiser at the Albany Project has posted the second half of the story about the endorsement event where retired Generals Batiste and Eaton appeared in support of Eric Massa.

Massa Unveils Social Security Plan

Syracuse News 10 has story and video about Eric Massa's social security plan. Massa unveiled the plan in a news conference in Corning. The full plan [pdf] is available from his website.

Nightly News: Endorsement and Drilling

Jerri Kaiser at the Albany Project has a report on the Eaton/Batiste endorsement yesterday in Rochester.

Congressional Quarterly has a story on today's Republican news conference in Washington. Randy Kuhl points out that John McCain changed his position to support offsite drilling.

Massa Press Conference: Deconstructing Kuhl

Today's Massa press conference concentrated on Randy Kuhl's "floor speech" on energy.

Massa began by noting that "Speaker Pelosi and I do not, and did not, see eye-to-eye this Summer" about putting Congress into recess. Massa continued "I know, and most Americans who passed High School know, that you need both houses of Congress to pass a law [...] That's why I asked Randy Kuhl to insist that President Bush call Congress back into session."

Massa noted that only Bush has the constitutional authority to call Congress into session, and therefore the House protest was "nothing more than a political stunt."

Randy Kuhl wants to have a debate on the floor of the House, but he refuses to have a debate in the district [...] Why? Maybe he's afraid of being held accountable for his big-oil votes and his big-oil contributions.

Massa then went through Kuhl's floor speech. He began with this line:

This legislation is key to lowering the pain felt at the pump by investing in American made resources. There are Democrats who that think that the Republican’s all of the above energy plan caters to “Big Oil” and call those of us fighting to achieve energy independence “Friends of Big Oil.” Am I missing something?

Massa said that what Kuhl was missing was that the all of the above energy program does "nothing to stop price gouging at the pumps. It does nothing to address the unprecedented, historically obscene profits oil companies are making at the expense of working Americans."

Massa then keyed in on this passage in Kuhl's speech:
The Democrats, by not allowing a simple vote on increasing our homegrown energy sources, are forcing America to remain dependent on and beholden to foreign oil. They are increasing our addiction to foreign oil because they are not allowing us to produce American energy sources.

He pointed to Kuhl's vote against HR 6251, the "use it or lose it" bill, which mandated that current lease holders must either drill or lose their leases.

Massa also noted that Kuhl voted against renewable energy and green jobs bills 9 times, and against conservation bills 10 times.

It isn't just one bill, it's a whole series of bills where he says one thing and then does another, because he knows how hard it is for working people to follow the shenanigans of people in Washington.

Massa noted earlier that Kuhl had posed a rhetorical question, "Why would I want to debate in a remote corner of the district?" Massa said that he didn't consider Elmira, Corning and Rochester as remote corners. He went on to discuss his willingness to debate, saying that he had committed to appear in 10 debates across the district. He characterized Kuhl's changing positions on when he would commit to debates as "excuses", saying that, even though people said they got tired of debates during the primaries, they gave everyone a good sense of the issues involved in the race.

I asked Massa about the Palin nomination. He said that he found it "surprising" and wondered if someone who was mayor of a town smaller than Henrietta would be seen as experience by the American people. He said the choice "will call into question John McCain's judgment in making this decision."

I'm sure she's a nice person. I think she has extreme positions: no compromise, take no prisoners, extreme right-wing positions. That may excite a few people on the floor of the Republican Convention, but most Americans don't tilt that far right.
Update: Exile at Rochesterturning has video of Kuhl's "remote section of the district" comment.

Press Conference Bumped

This morning's Republican press conference at the Capitol was apparently bumped from C-SPAN by Kwame Kilpatrick's removal hearing.

Update: According to Kuhl's office, the event happened but has not yet aired. Here's the C-SPAN link where it will be archived after it airs.

Eaton, Batiste Endorse Massa

Two retired generals, Paul Eaton and John Batiste, attended a joint endorsement event for Eric Massa and NY-26 candidate Jon Powers. Jerri Kaiser at the Albany Project has photos of the event.

Batiste lives and works in Rochester, and he endorsed Massa last year. Eaton's last Iraq assignment was being in charge of training the Iraqi military in 2003 and 2004.

Kuhl, in DC, on TV

Randy Kuhl is not attending the Republican National Convention this year. Instead, he's in Washington for another protest against higher gas prices and, in his view, Nancy Pelosi's "inaction".

According to his office, Kuhl and other Republicans will hold a press conference tomorrow at 11 a.m., which will be televised live on C-SPAN or C-SPAN-2.

Insider Column

Reader Tom sends today's Corning Leader Insider column [gif], where Bob Rolfe dings Randy Kuhl for criticizing Massa's parents, and for ignoring 1.8 million acres of new offshore oil leases in his calls for more drilling.