Archive (2010)

Leader Stories: Endorsement and Issues

The Corning Leader endorsed Tom Reed today [pdf]. Here's the Leader's Zeller [pdf] and Reed [pdf] one-page candidate issue summaries. Thanks to Elmer for the documents.

Reed Robo Calls?

The Zeller campaign has put out a press release accusing the Reed campaign of making back-to-back "Vote Zeller" robocalls to annoy Zeller supporters.

I don't know whether this is true, but if it is, I'd be surprised. I'm also surprised that Reed is running any negative ads. (The ads aren't negative against Zeller, but they do attack Democrats.)

As the prohibitive favorite, Reed should be completely positive.

The Zeller press release is included after the break.

Tom Reed's Dirty Halloween Trick

Victor, NY- Despite numerous pledges from Tom Reed to run a positive campaign; perhaps as a sign of things to come, he's already breaking his promises. The Reed campaign has paid for thousands of automated calls, called "robo dials" to contact voters in the waning days of the election.

Yesterday, voters both Republican and Democrat received calls purporting to be from the Zeller campaign asking them to vote for Matt Zeller. The only problem? Voters had to contend with four calls, back-to-back-back in hopes of annoying voters into supporting Reed or staying home on Tuesday.

"When they know they can't win on the issues, politicians will resort to almost anything to try and win. He may say he's not a career politician, but he certainly is acting like one," said Chris Rackl, campaign manager for Zeller for Congress.

Said Zeller, "Personally, I'm disappointed. Amidst all the negativity voters are subjected to when trying to make an informed decision, I was heartened that both Tom and I were able to run positive issue based campaigns. We definitely disagree on a number of issues, but we both stayed positive and played by the rules. I expected more from him."

Added Rackl, "Reed's dirty trick is backfiring. We've received number calls from Republicans complaining about all of the robo dials, and as soon as the voters have heard they weren't from us, they're immediately angry Tom Reed would stoop so low."

The Zeller Campaign also noted the only calls they've commissioned feature Matt Zeller reminding voters to remember to vote twice.

Profiles and an Endorsement

The Corning Leader has profiles of Zeller and Reed in today's online edition. Reader Elmer was good enough to send the printed version (here, here and here [pdf]) which have more art and shows the kind of play the 29th race gets in the Corning paper.

And the Democrat and Chronicle predictably endorsed Reed. While they generally endorse Democrats, the D&C hasn't been able to endorse a Republican in the 29th District, and I don't think the reason has anything to do with editorial integrity or a careful evaluation of the candidates. The D&C is simply looking for editorial cover, and the 29th serves as the token district where they can say they endorsed a Republican in a competitive race whenever they're accused of being a "Democratic" paper.

Debate Videos

In case you missed it in the comments, the Zeller campaign is posting the full videos of all the debates on their YouTube channel. That's a great public service and they deserve respect and appreciation from all sides for doing it.

Debate Story

Here's the Corning Leader story on last night's WETM/Leader debate.

Debate Schedule

The Zeller campaign sent over the debate schedule for the candidates [pdf].

FEC Reports

Tom Reed passed the million dollar mark in total fundraising with his latest report, and he has almost $300K cash on hand. Reed raised $173K in the latest reporting period. Zeller raised $113K this period, and has $90K cash on hand.

Zeller's numbers are actually somewhat competitive this period, though his late start puts him far behind Reed in overall fundraising.

Corning Leader: Massa Disappoints, Dunning Column

Reader Elmer sends today's Corning Leader front-page story [pdf] (and jump [pdf]) on the lingering disappointment over Eric Massa in Corning.

Joe Dunning's column [pdf] includes a few observations about the candidates, including a note that Zeller is far more convincing than Reed when discussing Afghanistan.

It's Not the Debt Collecting That's the Problem

Many of the Zeller and Volk supporters posting in the comments point out that Tom Reed is a debt collecting attorney. Well, my brother happens to be an attorney who makes part of his money from collecting debts (in another state). He's an honorable family man, just like Reed, but at least he acknowledges the main reason people go into debt and can't get out -- medical bills.

And he also realizes one of the reasons that people have a hard time with medical bills is that the deck is stacked against the self-paying individual. If you or one of your family members ever happens to go to the hospital, take a hard look at the bill. If they're insured, the insurance company has cut deals with the hospital for a discount, and it's nothing minor. For example, I know someone who had to have multiple high-res MRI scans of the brain. There's only one machine in Rochester that can do them, and the price for the uninsured person is around $5,000. For someone with insurance, the price is about $1,600, because Excellus has negotiated a discount with the University of Rochester.

Let's imagine that you're a young person who just paid your way through college. You're working a part-time job because the economy is bad, and you can't afford insurance. If you have an unexplained seizure, which isn't that uncommon, you really have no choice. You pay $3,400 more than someone who's insured for a high-res MRI. Then, you either go into bankruptcy, at worst, or get a call from Tom Reed, at best.

According to my brother, when Reed finally comes to collect this bill, he'll probably knock off a few thousand bucks and cut a deal. Our college kid will probably end up paying a bit more than what the insurance company did, but he'll have to ruin his credit rating to do it.

Under evil, nefarious, socialistic Obamacare, which Tom Reed's party has pledged to repeal, our new graduate would get a subsidy to help him pay for insurance, and his insurance would pay for his procedure. If the seizure was caused by a chronic illness, our new graduate could not be denied insurance for the rest of his life. These are the awful things Democrats like Zeller want.

Like Tom Reed, my brother and I both make plenty of money and can afford good insurance. Unlike Reed, my brother and I both support Democrats because we believe that this country owes the working poor a chance to get ahead in life without facing life-destroying medical bills. There's a lot of rhetoric about personal responsibility being thrown around when we talk about healthcare reform. The reality is that uninsured people who will benefit from healthcare reform are generally working poor. I have a hard time being very judgmental about people who are poor and holding down a job.

So, don't knock Tom Reed for being a debt collector. Knock him for not wanting to give people who work but can't afford insurance an opportunity for the same coverage that he can afford.

Zeller Candidate Time

Here's Matt Zeller's candidate free time on WXXI in Rochester:

Bath Forum

Here's the Corning Leader's story on the Bath League of Women Voters candidate forum.


Reed and Zeller both agree that the lack of a cost of living increase in Social Security is a bad thing.