Posts containing facts about the race in the 29th.

Reed Press Call: All About the Benjamins

Tom Reed opened his press call this morning on the attack. He believes that the charges that Massa has made about the $1.18 million Restore New York grant received by his LLC (covered previously here, here, here and here), are "outright lies". Here's his opening statement about that:

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Reed points to a Buffalo News story which uses Massa's financial disclosure form. I asked Reed if he was willing to release his form (since it's not publicly available -- Massa's is). His answer included a defense of how he made his money. Reed says that he's not a "silver spoon lawyer":

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I will post both candidates' financial disclosure forms when I get them.

Finally, I asked Reed whether he was going to make any money from the Bath investment. He basically said that the investment is projected to make very little money. Some reporter on the call cracked "What kind of businessman are you?" -- and Reed walked back his comments a bit. It's about as funny as a press call gets, and is worth a listen:

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There are some drop-outs in the audio -- sorry about that. I think it's something to do with my recording setup, but this is the first time it's happened.

Shared Sanity

Tom Reed and Eric Massa both agree that trying accused 9/11 plotters in New York is the right thing to do.

Reed is smart to reject the craven hysteria of some of his fellow party members, who are spinning crazy scenarios to avoid using courts that have already proven their ability to safely and fairly try terrorist suspects. Bruce Schneier put it well in a recent article:

By not overreacting, by not responding to movie-plot threats, and by not becoming defensive, we demonstrate the resilience of our society, in our laws, our culture, our freedoms. There is a difference between indomitability and arrogant "bring 'em on" rhetoric. There's a difference between accepting the inherent risk that comes with a free and open society, and hyping the threats.

We should treat terrorists like common criminals and give them all the benefits of true and open justice -- not merely because it demonstrates our indomitability, but because it makes us all safer. Once a society starts circumventing its own laws, the risks to its future stability are much greater than terrorism.

That whole piece is worth a read.

Massa in the D&C

The paper D&C led this morning's front page with a story on Massa's "no" vote on healthcare reform. The story covers a healthcare rally in Rochester where Dennis Kucinich was featured (via telephone).

Buffalo News Financial Roundup

In a piece headlined "Masa [sic] used campaign funds to pay himself and wife", Jeremy Zremski of the Buffalo News reports that Eric Massa took a $15,000 salary from his 2008 campaign. Massa's wife Beverly was also paid $18,000 as campaign treasurer.

Mrs. Massa's salary was a minor campaign issue last year. I doubt if Mr. Massa's salary has legs as an issue, but we'll see for sure next Fall.

Massa Op-Ed on Healthcare

Reader Elmer sends today's Corning Leader opinion page [pdf], which features Eric Massa's op-ed stating his reasons for voting against the House healthcare reform bill.

Massa Press Conference

Today's Massa press conference was about Afghanistan, but I asked a couple of healthcare-related questions.

First, Bob Recotta had a couple of questions on Afghanistan. Massa says that if our goal in Afghanistan is nation building, we should get out:

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The next question was from reader Elmer, who wanted to know how Massa comprehends the complex healthcare legislation:

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I also asked Massa to comment on the charge that this was an "insurance" vote, designed to appease conservatives in the district:

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Massa's Explanation

Eric Massa has taken to local mail and media to explain his vote against the healthcare bill. The online Corning Leader has a story about Massa's plan to send letters to 40,000 constituents in the 29th. The Messenger-Post has a summary of Massa's reasons for voting against the bill.

Dunning on Corning Elections, Machines

Reader Elmer sends yesterday's Corning Leader column [pdf] by Joe Dunning, who discusses the Democrats' losses in last week's elections. Frank Coccho, the controversial former mayor who was beaten by Tom Reed, tried again for the job and was beaten soundly.

Dunning's take on the new voting machines was that the process lacks some privacy at the voting booth and when the ballot is scanned.

Something Old, Something New

Evan Dawson at 13-WHAM interviewed Eric Massa this morning.

What's old: Massa is still planning to vote against the current incarnation of the healthcare bill.

What's new: Massa's calling for a pullout from Afghanistan, a "sinkhole of a country" with elections that are "at best, a farce". Evan also embedded one of Massa's floor speeches that lays out his opposition to continuation of the war.

Voting Machines

The Corning Leader documents the use of new voting machines in Steuben County. Steuben's machines were used for the first time in Tuesday's election.

Steuben is apparently one of the few counties in the 29th using the new technology. According to the Leader, Chemung County used lever machines. When I voted yesterday in Monroe County, I used the same lever machine technology that's been in use for 50 years.

The Leader reports on the usual screw-ups that accompany any roll-out of new technology. Tallies on the Steuben County website are wrong. A breakdown at one polling station required the use of a plan B that involves paper ballots.

Since turnout on Tuesday was a fraction of what it will be a year from now, I hope Chemung and Monroe aren't going to use that election as the first test of their new machines.

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