Posts containing facts about the race in the 29th.

More Resignation Coverage

Politico and The Atlantic are reporting that the reason Massa resigned was allegations of sexual harassment from a male aide. Massa denied these allegations in his statement and to a Talking Points Memo reporter.

According to the Star-Gazette, Massa has asked Hornell Mayor Shawn Hogan to run in his place. Hogan is almost the only Democrat in the Southern Tier who has any kind of a profile, so he's the logical choice.

Massa's Statement

Here is the statement Eric Massa read at his press conference this afternoon:

Statement from Congressman Eric Massa
March 3, 2010

This last December I underwent my third major cancer recurrence scare. I kept this private only to members of my immediate family. I did not tell my staff. It was a very intense and personal experience especially in light of having gone through this before. I am a direct, salty guy who runs at 100 mph and my doctors have now clearly told me that I can no longer do that. It is only fair and right that I announce that I will not run again in time for others to consider a run for this office. I will now enter a final phase of my life at a more controlled pace and remained fully committed to helping the families of the 29th District.

There are blogs that are saying that I am leaving because of charges of harassing my staff. Do I and have I used salty language? Yes, and I have tried to do better. But these blogs are a symptom of the problem in this city and I no longer have the life’s energy to fight every battle. I make this decision based on being a cancer survivor who, following the advice of my doctors in Washington and in New York, cannot and will not prevent others from serving in the Congress that I hold in such great esteem.

Massa Dropping Out?

Liz Benjamin is reporting that Eric Massa will drop out of the 2010 race at a 3:30 press conference today. I'm hearing this rumor from multiple sources, also.

It's not clear why he's dropping out. Health is one possibility.

I can't make the press call but I'll report what happened as soon as I can.


Reader Stanley sends this Roll Call item about Charlie Rangel's ethics issues and its impact on the New York delegation. Rangel's a major fundraiser, and he's been responsible for about $40K of donations to the Massa campaign. The Star-Gazette also mentioned the Rangel issue yesterday.

Massa hasn't yet issued a statement about whether he'll return the money, but he did vote to refer Rangel's case to the House Ethics Committee.

I've mentioned the Rangel money issue here and here, and I still think that this won't be a major campaign issue, for the reasons given in those posts.

Massa on Paterson

The papers and the telly are full of stories like this, where Eric Massa says that he's glad Paterson is leaving and that he wants Andrew Cuomo to enter the race.

It looks like the statewide major office races will be walks for the Democrats. No big-name Republican has stepped up to run for either Governor or Senator, so Cuomo and Gillibrand will both do well, barring a screw up.

This isn't good news for Massa -- a tight, hard-fought race would keep voters interested and send them to the polls. Tight races would also cause those candidates to put some money behind a statewide get out the vote effort, which would help Massa in the 29th.

Healthcare Summit

Reader Vincent sends this link to the Sunlight Foundation's live blog coverage of today's summit at the Blair House. They're a non-profit good government bunch and can probably cut through a lot of the bullshit that's going to be flooding that meeting.

By the way, in case anybody wonders, no, Eric Massa has not changed his position on the reform bill. I'd be surprised if this meeting changes anybody's mind, including his.

Reed Opposes Federal Drilling Regulation

Today's Democrat and Chronicle and Star-Gazette cover Tom Reed's latest position on the regulation of Marcellus Shale drilling. He's against almost all Federal regulation:

Reed said he would vote against giving the Environmental Protection Agency authority to use the Clean Water Act or Safe Drinking Water Act to regulate such drilling. He also would oppose requiring drillers to disclose the chemicals they add to the water injected into the rock.

Reed's position is that the state should do the regulating. However, Federal water laws like Clean Water Act have been around for decades because water doesn't respect state boundaries.

Here's a simple hypothetical. Say St. Bonaventure College, which is about 10 miles from the Pennsylvania border, finds chemical contamination in their drinking water. In Tom Reed's world, they would have the right to find out if a Pennsylvania fracking operation caused that pollution only if Pennsylvania law says they can. In Eric Massa's world, they'd have that right because Federal law requires drillers to disclose what they inject into rock that could contaminate the water supply.

I'll leave it to the reader to imagine which world Saint Bonnies' students (and their parents) want to live in.

More Chesapeake Ads

Reader Elmer sends two full-page Chesapeake ads that appeared in the Corning Leader. Wednesday's ad [pdf] tells us that Chesapeake is "ready" to drill in the Marcellus Shale. Yesterday's ad [pdf] is Chesapeake's attempt to explain their Pulteney application, which was covered here yesterday.

In other drilling news, Reuters has a drilling water background story that quotes Chesapeake officials as well as Eric Massa.

So, About Those Regulations

Reader Don sends this DEC spill report [pdf] which documents a 1,143 gallon petroleum product spill at a Chesapeake well near Pulteney. The spill, which was apparently caused by a rusted-through holding tank, occurred last August and hasn't been cleaned up, according to the DEC report. The report was part of a letter sent by Walter Hang, who runs the hazardous waste tracking site Toxics Targeting, to the state DEC.

This could be just a bookkeeping issue, or it could be something more serious, but it's another example of how Chesapeake's actions are getting the utmost scrutiny by local activists.

Chesapeake Full-Page Ad

An anonymous reader sent the text of a full-page ad in today's Corning Leader, paid for by Chesapeake Energy. It's essentially a declaration of war against Eric Massa, indirectly accusing him of misrepresenting the situation and using "political rhetoric". I've included the whole thing after the break, but one claim merits closer inspection.

Chesapeake says that "Congressman Eric Massa was informed on February 2, 2010 [...] that we are no longer actively pursuing our permit request [...] We have since followed up ad that commitment an have formally withdrawn our permit application for it." [emphasis in original]

Here's what Chesapeake actually said in that letter: "[...] it is premature for us to pull the application at this time." There was no commitment in the February 2 letter.

Chesapeake says that it is "disappointing that our positions continue to be misrepresented" -- apparently they're disappointed with themselves, because they misrepresented their own letter, written less than three weeks ago.

Here's the whole letter:

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