Archive (2009)

M-P Editorial Board Visit

The Messenger-Post covers Massa's town hall meeting in Canandaigua and his meeting with their editorial board.

Morning News: S-G and T-U

The Star-Gazette has posted its story on Eric Massa's meeting with their editorial board. The S-G also gave Massa a "hit" for scheduling his town meetings at times when people can attend. Massa got a "miss" last week for taking corporate donations.

Massa has an op-ed in today's Albany Times-Union. The topic is stimulus (what else could it be?).

Update: Thanks to reader Mike for pointing out that Massa will co-chair a group supporting HR 676.

Massa Southern Tier Photos

Eric Massa's office sent over some more photos of his Southern Tier swing. Below is a shot from the Bath Veterans' Fair. After the break, a meeting at the Corning Leader.

Member Items and Stimulus

Reader Rich sent in a letter from State Senator George Winner, which I've included after the break. Winner tells the Village of Penn Yan that his member items have been eliminated, as have all the member items of Republican Senators.

I haven't seen this reported anywhere, but it seems like big news, especially in the 29th, where we're represented by Republicans in the State Senate. It also sounds like big news for Eric Massa, because the money in the stimulus bill is all the more critical to towns in the 29th.

I'm not an expert on the dysfunctional New York State Senate, so if anyone has any more information on this, I'd appreciate hearing it.

Update: A reader wrote to say that member items in the New York State Senate were almost completely alloted to Republicans. The new plan, apparently, is to eliminate member items entirely. That doesn't mean that it hurts less, but it sounds less partisan that Winner claims in his letter.

February 10, 2009

Mr. Richard Osgood
Village of Penn Yan
111 Elm Street
Penn Yan, New York 14527

Dear Mr. Osgood:

This letter is to follow up on the status of the Member Item which your organization was awarded through the adoption of the 2008-09 State Budget.

It is with deep frustration and no small measure of anger that I have to inform you that a recent action by Governor David Paterson, working in concert with the Democratic leadership of the state Senate and Assembly, has eliminated the 2008-2009 Senate Republican Member Item account. As you know, this account would have been used to reimburse you for the project as outlined in the Member Item grant which was approved through the adoption of legislation by both houses of the Legislature and received final approval by Governor Paterson in April 2008.

First and foremost, you should know that this action was undertaken on a purely partisan basis as only Senate -- Republican-sponsored funding will be eliminated.

Secondly, it's important that I immediately and strongly advise you to not proceed with your project. You can rest assured that I will be doing everything within my power within the deliberations of the 2009-2010 Budget to reverse this unfair and regrettable action and will immediately update you on any new developments. However, should the previously anticipated Member Item process be given the light of day in the future and move forward, you are still advised to not spend any money until you have an approved/signed contract and that you can get some reasonable assurance from the administering agency that they will be able to reimburse the expenditures.

This action by Governor Paterson and the state's Democratic legislative leadership has put an unfair financial burden on the many organizations, including yours, that have put their trust in the legislative Member Item process. In my strong opinion, it's simply wrong for Governor Paterson and the Legislature's Democratic leadership to break previously made state commitments -- and the appropriation authority for these projects was clearly approved by the Legislature and the Governor last year. This was not a well thought-out move, and the actions will only hurt local organizations as well as those across the state.

I would urge you to communicate to Governor Paterson and protest this partisan unfair action. Please be assured that I will continue to work on your behalf in attempting to restore this very valuable funding.

George H. Winner, Jr.

Afternoon News: Stimulus and Donations

Reader Elmer sends two Corning Leader stories. This one covers Eric Massa's meeting with the Leader editorial board, and this story examines the impact of the stimulus on Corning, Inc.

The Hornell Evening Tribune focuses on Massa's decision to take corporate donations.

Syracuse News10 covers Massa's visit to Elmira.

Update: I missed this item from yesterday's D&C, which contains Massa's criticism of Chris Lee's [NY-26] decision to vote against the stimulus but take the money for his district anyway.

Morning News and Announcements

Eric Massa's appearance at a cancer benefit made the University of Rochester Campus Times.

Reader Rich writes to say that the Yates County Democratic Party is having an open house featuring Eric Massa on Saturday from 3:30 to 5:30 at 19 Main Street in Penn Yan.

Afternoon News: Touring the District

The Messenger-Post has a story about Massa's visit to Hydroacoustics in Henrietta yesterday.

According to Massa's press release, he's in Corning and Hornell today, meeting with newspaper editorial boards. Tomorrow, he'll be in Elmira, Pittsford and Canandaigua, with office hours in the afternoon at Pittsford, and an open meeting in Canandaigua in the evening.

But You Promised!

Today's D&C editorial takes Eric Massa to task for changing his position on accepting corporate financing.

I've already said my piece on Massa's decision, so I want to focus on this part of the editorial:

How quickly they forget. President Obama succeeded largely on the backs of voters who made small donations. But it must not be excused that he, too, reneged on his promise to embrace public financing once his campaign war chest started to swell.

There are (at least) two kinds of stupid in this statement.

First, the whole point of changing the campaign financing system is to limit the influence of individual donors. Obama's network of small donors does just that. Obama didn't just ditch public financing, he found a better way to finance his campaign. It will be the model for every future Presidential campaign, and our politics will be better for it.

Second, if we're going to have better politicians, we need to judge them on results, not just promises. Is there any other human pursuit where we expect the participants to do exactly what they said they'd do months ago, regardless of current circumstances? Being upset that Obama used small-donor financing is like complaining that the coach whose team won the Super Bowl didn't play the same quarterback that he said he'd use at the start of the season.

Afternoon News: Rail Cars and District Visits

The Hornell Evening Tribune covers Eric Massa's visit to the Alstom facility in Hornell. Alstom is one of two manufacturers of New York subway cars, and the company stands to benefit from $1.3 billion of stimulus funding targeted at New York mass transit.

The Massa office sent over some more photos of Massa's in-district visits. The first one, below, is from his visit to Hydroacustics, a Henrietta business. After the break, a shot from his trip to Integrated Nano-Technologies, another Henrietta company.

Massa at the D&C

Eric Massa met with the D&C editorial board yesterday, according to this blog post at their Editorial Board blog.

Alfred Meeting Photos

This is a shot of Eric Massa at yesterday's Alfred town meeting, courtesy of Massa's office. More after the break.

Massa Town Hall

The Hornell Evening Tribune has coverage of Eric Massa's Alfred town hall meeting and ag summit.