Archive (2008)

Evening News

The Hornell Evening Tribune covers Kuhl's bailout vote and Massa's flip-flop charge.

The Messenger-Post says that Kuhl is getting mixed reviews from Veterans.

No more lawn sign news. I'm following that story closely and will issue instant updates the moment I have them. Stay tuned.

DCCC Poll: Massa 47, Kuhl 42

The DCCC has released a poll showing Eric Massa leading randy Kuhl by 5 points, with 13% undecided. The poll's margin of error is 4.9%.

This is a poll by an interested party and should be taken with a grain of salt. The last independent poll in the district was taken by the New York State Board of Elections in November, 2006.


The Massa campaign has released a new ad about Kuhl's vote change on the bailout bill. The video is embedded below:

BREAKING: Alleged Yard Sign Thief Apprehended

The Democrat and Chronicle reports that the Ontario County Sheriff's office apprehended someone in the act of stealing McCain and Kuhl yard signs along Route 96 in Victor.

The alleged perpetrator also had Cub Scout yard signs in his possession, raising the possibility that the signs themselves, rather than their content, sparked the crime.

Money Story

Gannett's Larry Wilson has filed a story on the out-of-state donors who give to the candidates in the 29th race. Both Kuhl and Massa have raised significant funds from out-of-state and out-of-district contributors.

One factor that isn't mentioned in the story is Act Blue, a Democratic site that allows donors from across the nation to funnel money to competitive races. Massa has raised over half a million dollars in his two races via Act Blue.

Still More Bailout News

Reader Elmer sends Eric Massa's Corning Leader op-ed where he describes his plan for an FDR-style solution to the credit crunch. The Leader also has a story on Kuhl's vote yesterday.

The Steuben Courier has a column against Kuhl's initial vote.

WENY, Syracuse News 10, and the Democrat and Chronicle all have stories about Kuhl's vote.

Finally, WENY has a story about some questions submitted for next week's debate. They're from a high school class in Horseheads.

Bailout Analysis: Mayo on a Shit Sandwich

Overpaying for $700 billion of possibly bad assets in order to re-capitalize banks is a desperation move. There are other desperation moves that probably make more sense. But, given the choice between a bailout and frozen credit markets, I'll take the bailout, reluctantly.

That said, there are good reasons to be against this bill. It could use better oversight, the final bill was larded with pork, and the equity provisions were pretty vague. So I understand Eric Massa's opposition to the bill, even if I don't agree with him.

What I don't understand is how Randy Kuhl thinks that this bill is "drastic improvement" over Monday's plan. In terms of the bailout provisions themselves, as far as I can tell, they're more-or-less identical to Monday's plan. The FDIC increase and AMT reduction are nice to have, but there's nothing new that prevents taxpayers from "picking up the tab" of $700 billion, as Kuhl claims.

Because this shit sandwich of a bill just had a little pork and taxcut mayo added, Kuhl's explanation doesn't cut it. It looks, instead, like he wanted to have it both ways. His phone lines were jammed with angry constituents last week, so he voted against Monday's bill. By Friday, it was pretty clear that small and mid-size businessmen in the 29th supported the bill, and that the credit markets were actually in crisis. So Kuhl changed his vote, apparently to appease the latter group and to avoid responsibility for a financial meltdown.

Kuhl's vote will probably end up being seen as a necessary evil. He didn't need to insult our intelligence with this "drastic improvement" spin.

Bailout Bill Passes with Kuhl's Vote

The bailout bill passed the House by a wide margin, 263-171, with Randy Kuhl's vote.

Update: Here are the details. All the Western New York delegation voted for the bill. Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY-20] remained opposed.

Mid-Morning Update: Still Reviewing, and Some Leader Stories

Randy Kuhl is "still reviewing" the bailout bill, but he predicts passage, according to coverage of his morning press call by 13-WHAM and the Buffalo News.

Reader Elmer sends the Corning Leader's coverage of Eric Massa's non-debate in Bath [pdf] (and jump [pdf]).

Reader Tom sends Bob Rolfe's Leader column [gif], which is critical of Kuhl's bailout vote.

Morning News: Non-Debate and Kuhl's Still Thinking

WENY has a story about the non-debate in Bath. This is the event that was supposed to be sponsored by the League of Women Voters, but after Randy Kuhl and State Senator George Winner declined to attend, it became a candidate forum.

WENY also quotes Kuhl as follows on the new bailout bill:

What I’m going to be looking for is to see whether or not the taxpayer has been really hung out to dry. Is it going to pick up the cost of the bailout at the expense of those unscrupulous lenders on Wall Street or whether or not there's significant protection for that person.

As far as I can tell, the taxpayer protections in the new bill, which amount to getting equity in the company that we're bailing out, are the same as the old bill.

The latest news from the House is that it looks like the opposition to the bill is dying down. Democrats are going to ask for a formal whip count and list from Republicans before the vote, to avoid a repeat of Monday's embarrassment.

Star-Gazette Debate Questions

The Star-Gazette and WENY are asking for questions for their October 13 debate.

(via Rochesterturning)

The Senate Bill

Randy Kuhl's spokeswoman Meghan Tisinger tells Gannett that Kuhl's staff is "still studying reviewing" the bailout bill that passed the Senate last night.

This bill's bailout provisions are essentially the same as Monday's bill. But it's full of sweeteners, including a tax credits for alternative energy, and raising the limit for the Alternative Minimum Tax exemption. It also includes some strange special interest provisions, like these two:

  • Extend cost recovery period for motor racing tracks.
  • Exempt from excise tax certain wooden arrow shafts for use by children.

There's at least one change actually related to the current economic crisis: raising the limit of FDIC-insured deposits from $100K to $250K.

McClatchy has a great rundown on the bill.