Proving that he's a better man than me, Evan Dawson goes through the major claims in Eric Massa's radio rant. Evan also tells me that Glenn Beck's program is all about Massa today.
There's a progressive group who call themselves "firebaggers", which is a combination of FireDogLake, the blog where the movement originated, and "teabagger". This group opposes passage of the healthcare reform bill because it doesn't include provisions like single-payer. By the FireDogLake definition, Massa is a "firebagger". The rhetoric used by firebaggers and teabaggers on healthcare reform is remarkably similar, even though they oppose the bill for completely different reasons.
Also, the link for Massa's rant is now, unsurprisingly, dead. Of course, I saved a copy of the file. I've transcoded it (i.e., made it smaller and easier to download), and here it is (22MB MP3)
An anonymous commenter points out the audio of Eric Massa's radio WKPQ program. Massa does four things in the program.
1. He describes the behavior that he thinks led to the ethics investigation.
Massa says that he was at a wedding over New Year's Eve. His wife had gone to bed, ill, and he was hanging out with the bachelors of his staff. He had danced with the bride and a bridesmaid. After he was done dancing, his staff made a few comments about what he ought to do with the bridesmaid. Massa tousled the hair of one of his staff members and said, "Maybe I ought to fuck you." Massa says he then went to bed at the hotel where the reception was held.
Massa thinks that another staff member facilitated this staff member's complaint of Massa's inappropriate behavior.
2. He identifies a real ethics issue that he thinks was the subject of another investigation.
He says that one of his staffers had sent out a fundraising letter that shouldn't have been sent out. He said he heard of an investigation around Feb 9, and believes that the investigation was due to that letter.
3. He accuses House leadership of getting rid of him.
He notes that even though Steny Hoyer says he contacted his office, he's never talked to the man in his life. He accuses House leadership of masterminding an ethics investigation to get rid of him so the healthcare reform bill will pass.
4. He launches into an impassioned denial of the accusations made by Bob Lonsberry's anonymous sources concerning alleged harassing homosexual behavior committed by Massa during his Navy service.
Massa tells a couple of Navy stories that aren't related to Lonsberry's accusations. He accuses Lonsberry of being ignorant of the fact that it is a setup.
Massa references a couple of stories during this discussion. One was by Laurie Kellman of the AP, this might be it. The other is from Roll Call, and it points out that Massa's resignation makes it more likely that the HCR bill will pass.
Massa then goes off on a long discussion, noting that he has gay staff members. He says he won't be ashamed of his actions, other than inappropriate verbal language.
"If you don't believe they came after me to get rid of me because my vote is the deciding vote in the healthcare bill, then you live in a world that is so innocent that you don't understand what's going on in Washington, DC."
The audio drops out a bit, but it sounds like Massa waved around a CAT scan that shows some tissue that can either be a tumor or scar tissue.
He says "a pox on both parties", and that if he ever runs again, it will be as an Independent.
Saying this is a must-listen is the understatement of four years following Massa.
Sean Carroll has posted a telephone interview with Randy Kuhl. Randy's clearly itching to run, but what's interesting about the piece is how Sean trips Randy up.
Randy touts an online poll in the Hornell Evening Tribune that had a pretty good result for him. Unfortunately, he doesn't know that Sean has an email of Randy telling his supporters to go to the site and vote. Randy finally sorta confesses.
Randy brings up the poll at about 7:45, and the whole thing swirls around the toilet after that.
If you're really up for some punishment, listen to the whole call, because the first thing out of Randy's mouth is that he's shredding documents. It's innocent (he's shredding old law office files), but perhaps not the best way to describe his current activities.
This morning's Massa press call started with a detailed explanation of why he still opposes the President's Afghanistan strategy:
Rick Miller asked Massa to respond to Tom Reed's accusation that he is "disarming the troops while in harm's way" by not voting for a supplemental. You might want to turn the volume down a bit when you listen to his answer:
Finally, I asked Massa if he had any thoughts on paying for the war. His answer was inconclusive, as was Reed's earlier this morning, but I didn't bother to follow up further, having learned my lesson that politicians will always dance around the question of taxes:
This morning's press call by Tom Reed dealt with Afghanistan. Reed is pleased with the President's speech, with the exception of the timeline for withdrawal. Here's his opening statement, where he characterizes Massa's position as one of "surrender and retreat".
Reed compared our mission in Afghanistan to World War II in response to some questions from Rick Miller of the Olean Times-Herald:
I asked Reed a question about how he wants to pay for the wars. The answer is pretty drawn out and inconclusive:
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:
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":
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:
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.
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:
The next question was from reader Elmer, who wanted to know how Massa comprehends the complex healthcare legislation:
I also asked Massa to comment on the charge that this was an "insurance" vote, designed to appease conservatives in the district:
The Kuhl campaign has started a media effort coordinated with Kuhl's appearance at the House protest this week. Kuhl's new radio and TV ads, which the campaign says will air across the 29th district, are embedded after the break.
Kuhl will also appear at a press conference on
C-SPAN C-SPAN2 this morning at 11.
Randy Kuhl has returned to Washington to speak on the floor of the House as part of the Republican protest there. WENY has the story, with Kuhl's resolution to stay in DC until the end of the recess. Syracuse News10 has a back-and-forth between Kuhl and Massa on the same issue.
The DCCC has released its response to the Freedom's Watch ads announced earlier this month. The ad is embedded after the break. Freedom's Watch has not released their ads anywhere that I can find them, which is odd. Usually third-party ad campaigns get a lot of buzz from blogs and media outlets, even if the ad buy isn't very large, so those organizations are eager to release their ads.