NY13 Blog; Retaking NY-13 from Rep. Vito Fossella

Following the corruption, ineffectiveness and hypocrisy of Rep. Vito Fossella.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Once again Fossella tries to stall the government and cut off funds

Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations, FY 2008 - Vote Passed (268-153, 10 Not Voting)

The House passed this $104.4 billion bill that would fund the Department of Transportation and Department of Housing and Urban Development for the 2008 fiscal year.

Rep. Vito Fossella voted NO

Monday, July 30, 2007

1551 Days Later


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Will elected Dems match the Republicans investment?

With Rep. Vito Fossella's second quarter financial filing numbers we get a good insight to how many elected Republicans, that he has played a large role in getting into those offices, are funding his re-election campaign. The question is, will 2008 be different for local Democrats? In the past there has been lots of talk about taking out Fossella but very little financial support to the nominees. Here are the Republicans putting money up to keep this seat in Republican hands:

State Senator Andrew Lanza; $1,000
Staten Senator Marty Golden; $1,000

Assemblyman Lou Tobacco; $1,000

City Councilman Vincent Ignizio; $1,000
City Councilman James Oddo; $1,000

Until there is either one Democratic challenger or the primary determines a winner, our elected Dems;

* Senator Savino
* Assemblyman Titone
* Assemblyman Cusick
* Assemblywoman Hyer-Spencer
* Councilman McMahon
* Councilman DeBlasio

to name a few and anyone else who wants to invest in taking down Fossella and everything comes with that can give to the NY-13 General Fund which will be distributed to the primary winner to use in the General Election. Thanks to ActBlue.com for making this possible.

UPDATE: Sorry that title should be 'will' Dems step up not 'why', clearly this is a call out to challenge them to match their Republican counter parts.

Follow along on what stories we are working on with updates from Twitter.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

LTE: Bringing the troops home, a conservative view

In a recent 'Letter to the Edtior' (LTE) in the SI Advance, a writer comments on reasons to bring our troops home and shows that all of us, Democrats, Republicans, Independents or Conservatives may disagree on other things but we all have our reasons to bring our troops home;

Regarding our "war on terrorism," I think it's time we picked up our marbles and came home ... from all fronts. How about the word isolationism? How about -- let's get a handle on our immigration system (or lack of it), find a way to make fuel from our own garbage (solves two problems there), manufacture all the goods we need to sustain us (jobs for everyone), build an almighty defensive security system (no one would dare), and, oh yeah, mind our own business ...? [SI Advance]

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rep. Fossella tries more stall tactics, and fails

How serious is Education to Rep. Fossella? Enough that he voted to not fund the Department of Education for 2008, or the Department of Health and Human Services for that matter.

Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations, FY2008
Vote Passed (276-140, 15 Not Voting)

The House passed this $153.7 billion bill that would fund the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education for the 2008 fiscal year.

Rep. Vito Fossella - NO

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Rep. Fossella tries to stall government by withholding money

Energy/Water Development Appropriations, FY2008
Vote Passed (312-112, 7 Not Voting)

This $31.6 billion bill would fund the Department of Energy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Interior Department's Bureau of Reclamation for the upcoming fiscal year.

Rep. Vito Fossella voted NO

Our Government is failing to support out troops

via Yahoo News;

The many medical claims by veterans of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has completely overwhelmed the American government, leading to "shameful failures" in treatment, a class-action lawsuit filed on Monday alleged.

"Because of those failures, hundreds of thousands of men and women who have suffered grievous injuries fighting in the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are being abandoned," according to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for Northern California.


"Unless systemic and drastic measures are instituted immediately, the costs to these veterans, their families, and our nation will be incalculable, including broken families, a new generation of unemployed and homeless veterans, increases in drug abuse and alcoholism, and crushing burdens on the health care delivery system and other social services in our communities," the suit said.

The suit said the Department of Veterans Affairs faced a backlog of 600,000 claims, with some veterans dying while waiting to settle claims. It also claimed the VA was unable to deal with the growing number of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder cases.

Rep. Vito Fossella has already voted against extending TRICARE, health insurance, to National Guard and Reservists, he has refused to stand up to President Bush's plan to reduce their pay increases, do you think he is anywhere other than on the wrong side of this VA issue? Rep. Vito Fossella does not support the troops.
Follow along on what stories we are working on with updates from Twitter.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

High gas prices fund Exxon donations to Fossella

This is not a donation for renewable energy legislation, mass transit solutions for Staten Island or asthma and respiratory health care brought on by air pollution.

This is a donation from ExxonMobil to encourage Rep. Vito Fossella to continue to vote to stay in Iraq. The more oil potential Exxon receives the more they can line their pockets and make you, the consumer pay for donations like these at the pump.

Follow along on what stories we are working on with updates from Twitter.

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How does America feel about Fossella's war in Iraq: Troop Escalation

via CBS News/NY Times poll (July 9-17, 2007)

"As you may know, the U.S. has sent more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq. From what you have heard or read, would you say this troop increase is making the situation in Iraq better, making it worse, or is it having no impact on the situation in Iraq so far?"

Better 20%
Worse 22%
No Impact 51%

Unsure 07%

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

How does America feel about Fossella's war in Iraq: Troop removal

via CBS News/NY Times poll (July 9-17, 2007)

"From what you have seen or heard about the situation in Iraq, what should the United States do now? Should the U.S. increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, keep the same number of U.S. troops in Iraq as there are now, decrease the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, or remove all its troops from Iraq?"

Increase 12%
Same 18%
Decrease 29%
Remove All 34%

Unsure 07%

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

How does America feel about Fossella's war in Iraq?

via CBS News/NY Times poll (July 9-17, 2007)

"How would you say things are going for the U.S. in its efforts to bring stability and order to Iraq? Would you say things are going very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly?"

Very Well 02%
Somewhat Well 23%
Somewhat Badly 29%
Very Badly 45%
Unsure 01%

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Friday, July 20, 2007

LTE: Fossella is forgetting bin Laden

In a 'Letter to the Editor' (LTE) last week in the Staten Island Advance a writer comments on the administration's distraction in Iraq and the failure to go after and find bin Laden;

Nonetheless, there has never been any credible evidence linking the Iraqis to the 9/11 plot. The people (Osama bin Laden, et al.) who actually planned and implemented the 9/11 attacks are still at large and, for all their tough talk, there doesn't appear to be any effort being made by the current administration to bring them to justice.

Curiously this article is juxtaposed by the preceding letter by a very 'patriotic' citizen decrying peace activists and praising Rep. Vito Fossella for doing everything he can to go after terrorists. The letter above seems to aptly point out one big hole in that strategy, that in fact we have given up fighting the terrorism that started all of this. Rep. Fossella where exactly is Osama bin Laden?

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

How is Fossella's war going so far?

Iraq. Rep. Vito Fossella owns it. It is his responsibility because time and time again he tells us we must fight there, they attacked us, they will come after us if we leave. I have had enough of his 4 year old mentality. This is Vito Fossella's war;

  • The number of attacks on U.S. soldiers is way up, now accounting for 70 percent of all attacks in Iraq.
  • While violence has dropped dramatically in Anbar Province, the number of attacks has risen sharply in four other provinces: Baghdad, Salahaddin, Diyala and Basra.
  • In June, there were a record 55 attacks with Iranian-made roadside bombs -- called explosively formed penetrators. This is the deadliest form of roadside bomb seen in Iraq.
  • Mortar attacks on the Green Zone have dramatically increased.

The people are speaking Rep. Fossella, you just are ignoring them;

A nationwide CBS News poll conducted late last month found that 63 percent of those polled said America should set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

Two-thirds believe America should remove all or some of its troops, and 76 percent say the additional 20,000 U.S. troops sent to Iraq have either made no difference or made things worse.

A new estimate of war costs from the Congressional Research Service reports that Iraq is costing the United States $10 billion a month.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fossella sold to the highest bidder

Rep. Fossella has sold out all of his constituents who feel Staten Island is being over developed and has a traffic crisis already, and only for $1,000. How easily are the corrupt politicians bought. You can be a Republican, Conservative or Independent and oppose Wal-Mart and what it will do to your community.

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More troops to Iraq? Where is Fossella?

via ABC News;

The U.S. military is weighing new directions for Iraq, including an even bigger troop buildup if President Bush thinks his "surge" strategy needs a further boost, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday.

The President has been divorced from reality for a while now, but the disappointment lies solely with Rep. Vito Fossella who is not only refusing to talk to the President about a new strategy he is supporting everything this President does.

This just in, Bin Laden is not in Iraq!

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Pre-war intelligence and strategy faulty, Fosesella doesn't care

via Washington Post;

Analysis: Intelligence Puts Rationale For War on Shakier Ground

The White House faced fresh political peril yesterday in the form of a new intelligence assessment that raised sharp questions about the success of its counterterrorism strategy and judgment in making Iraq the focus of that effort.

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush has been able to deflect criticism of his counterterrorism policy by repeatedly noting the absence of any new domestic attacks and by citing the continuing threat that terrorists in Iraq pose to U.S. interests.

But this line of defense seemed to unravel a bit yesterday with the release of a new National Intelligence Estimate that concludes that al-Qaeda "has protected or regenerated key elements of its Homeland attack capability" by reestablishing a haven in Pakistan and reconstituting its top leadership. The report also notes that al-Qaeda has been able "to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for Homeland attacks," by associating itself with an Iraqi subsidiary.

These disclosures triggered a new round of criticism from Democrats and others who say that the administration took its eye off the ball by invading Iraq without first destroying Osama bin Laden's organization in Afghanistan.

"I ask if we surrender this battlefield, which battlefield will our enemy choose next? New York…Los Angeles…Washington?" -Rep Vito Fossella, floor speech on the 2007 Supplemental Bill

It is extremely sad that we have a member of Congress who is so apt at scaring his constituents into believing we must continue forward in Iraq despite their wishes or else we will be attacked again. Vito Fossella never mentions Iraq had no part in September 11th. Fossella never mentions going after bin Laden and suceeding in Afghanistan. Fossella is so indulged in whatever President Bush says that he has lost his sense of reality.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Vito Fossella owned and opperated by WalMart

Vito Fossella supports increased traffic in Staten Island.
Vito Fossella does not support labor and union workers in Staten Island.
Vito Fossella supports over development in Staten Island.

Mr. Fossella, a Republican who represents parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn, said "the vast majority of Staten Islanders have already voted to endorse a store like Wal-Mart - they go to New Jersey every day." [Via NY Sun]

Since 2002, Rep. Vito Fossella has taken at least $13,250 from Wal-Mart.
In 2002; $2,500
In 2004; $5,000
In 2006; $5,000
In 2007; $1,000 so far

That is $13,250 that says Rep. Vito Fossella is bought and owned by Wal-Mart. Do you believe that he is voting on issues pertaining to Wal-Mart on his own will despite pocketing their money?

Wal-Mart equals increased Traffic
If there is one issue that all Staten Islanders can probably agree on, it is the problem traffic causes on the island. Rep. Vito Fossella supports Wal-Mart's efforts to open a store in Staten Island and with that he supports increased traffic and congesting.

Many community around the country are concerned by Wal-Mart's tremendous traffic. Adding to the worry is that Wal-Mart and its developers often underplay the negative potential of adding thousands of cars to an area and propose solutions that don't work. In Staten Island, where Wal-Mart is looking to build its first NYC store, the company claims that traffic won't be a problem even though the area is already saturated with retail and its road infrastructure is abysmal. In fact, an Alliance-commissioned study by Brian Kethcam conclusively demonstrates that a Wal-Mart on the South Shore on of Staten Island would be a traffic nightmare. [via the Neighborhood Retail Alliance]

If you don't believe Wal-Mart is desperate to get its foot in the door of New York City via Staten Island, why are they continuing to line Rep. Fossella's pockets with cash, even after they claim they have given up on their plans to come to Staten Island back in 2006. What else do they have to gain?

more to come...

Follow along on what stories we are working on with updates from Twitter.

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SIBRO Civic Association launches tomorrow

excerpts from SIBRO's press release;

"Brooklyn Attorney Steve Harrison and Staten Island educator Mark Zink will announce the forming of the SIBRO Civic Association in a 7 PM July 18 press conference at the Staten Island South Beach Boardwalk Gazebo overlooking Southwest Brooklyn.

SIBRO (Staten Island/Brooklyn) Civic Association is dedicated to narrowing the Narrows and bridging the gap between people who live on opposite sides of the bridge, focusing issues that impact Staten Island and Southwest Brooklyn residents together."

"SIBRO Civic will be a forum for people on both sides of the bridge to discuss issues of common interest from bike paths and tolls to flight noise over the district.

“We’ll be a fact finding group in many ways says Harrison, seeking to identify issues that effect both sides of the districts involved. We’ll attempt to separate fact from fiction so people can make up their minds on good information, not rumor. We should work together to get the most for the entire district we can. The bridge presents a barrier to that goal and SIBRO Civic is chartered to break down that barrier. That’s what it’s all about.”

You can catch them on WOR tomorrow morning at 6:35am and later this week on NY1.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Fossella's Q2 fundraising, still in DEBT

Q2 Fundraising numbers are in for Rep. Vito Fossella. Q2 covers April-June 2007.

Net Contributions: 151,275.00
Net Expenditures: 124,783.82
Cash on Hand: 106,751.87
DEBT: 117,771.01

At the end of Q1 Fossella had posted these somewhat troubling numbers:

Net Contributions: 133,150.00
Net Expenditures: 62,167.12
Cash on Hand: 82,885.69
DEBT: 173,750.46

While he had a better fundraising quarter, he doubled his expenditures. Once again Fossella is being forced to pay down his debt carried over from 2006. He paid off $56k of his debt this quarter and will at this rate conceivably be net positive by Q1 of 2008. Once again the Democrats are wasting away the chance to be running away with fundraising race here while Fossella is weighed down with his debt burden. Overall his numbers show enormous weakness that is waiting to be exploited. He was out raised by many challengers on both sides of the aisles in other less expensive Congressional seats in New York. Additionally he is virtually tied for last place in Cash on Hand among ALL incumbents and challengers in New York.


Does Gulino help a Harrison run?

John Gulino was recently re-elected as Staten Island Democratic Party chairman despite attempts and murmurs that he would face potential powerful challengers, namely Assemblyman Cusick and Councilman McMahon. Both eventually backed down and the party backed Gulino once again;

But simple logistics and basic math also played a role: It's nearly impossible to dislodge a sitting party chairman even if you work the streets to put as many of your own people on county committee as possible. Gulino's supporters had already been working for months to add bodies and shore up his support. [via SI Advance

So Gulino seems to have the upper hand, despite the tone of the article claiming he made many consessions to the party electeds. I mention Harrison out of curiousity, considering right now the three potential candidates are Recchia (McMahon's candidate), Cusick, and Harrison. If Gulino wants to flex some muscle make a point that he is Party chairman throwing support to another Harrison run whether behind the scenes or publicly may prove a point and help solidify his position should Harrison go on to win. It is a risk, but may be necessary if there is a rift between him and the McMahon and Cusick supporters of the party.

Should a Democratic nominee knock off Fossella, they will unofficially become the Party leader in Staten Island in the same way Fossella unofficially holds that title now for Republicans. With that Fossella has hand picked his own supporters for office, consider the backing of Lanza over Helbock;

A victory by Mr. Helbock would have been embarrassing for Mr. Lanza and the ascendant faction headed by Rep. Vito Fossella who have effectively taken over the borough GOP. [via SI Advance

Gulino has to know that his time is potentially limited if a McMahon or Cusick backed candidate can take out Fossella, making him a lame duck even if he continues to retain his current position. He effectively could become irrelevant. So if he wants to become a king maker does he help a candidate such as Harrison get the nomination, essentially pushing all his chips in for the 2008 election? It is risky considering should it backfire he also would be targeted next time around, which he probably already is.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

1537 Days Later

Iraqi Prime Minister says US can leave

via CNN;

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki shrugged off U.S. doubts of his government's military and political progress Saturday, saying Iraqi forces are capable and American troops can leave "anytime they want."

The American public wants us out of Iraq.
Iraq wants us out of Iraq.
Why does Rep. Vito Fossella insist on us staying?


Friday, July 13, 2007

The evasive Vito Fossella

Tom Wrobleksi, in one of his often rare feats of political journalism actually spends an entire article taking Fossella to task for his political avoidance of commentary on national issues of importance. The article seems to have evolved out of an attempt to get Rep. Fossella to comment on President Bush's pardon of Scotter Libby, which Fossella never does. Tom follows up with wonderful pullquotes of;

We were also puzzled that Fossella "could not be reached for comment" that night a few weeks ago that Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he'd abandoned the Republican Party to register as an unaffiliated voter.

As the citywide GOP chairman of Bloomberg's 2005 re-election bid, we assumed that Fossella might have had an opinion about the switch.

He draws out the idea that Fossella will only pick safe battles and will maneuver his staff to field difficult questions, often times making himself busy and unavailable despite the national political implication and scope of the situations in question. Why this is any suprise, Rep. Fossella wouldn't even show up to his own debates in 2004 against Frank Barbaro and instead would send his staff.

Speaking in broad terms, Richard Flanagan, a political science professor at the College of Staten Island, said, "I do think the electeds have an obligation to speak to the press."

Failing to do so, he said, ends up hurting the lawmakers' constituents, who rely on the media, in some measure, to get "a sense of what the elected official is up to."

The reality may be in fact that is all comes back to Fossella's unwaivering support of President Bush when no one is looking;

Fossella tends to shy away from sticky political or policy questions that could reflect poorly on the White House or the Republican Party.

Follow along on what stories we are working on with updates from Twitter.

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Fossella staunchly supports Bush

The withdraw of troops from Iraq is not a partisan issue. The belief that we should bring our troops home and commend them for their sacrifice is not a partisan issue. However the desire to continue to stay embedded in Iraq and to continue to put our troops at risk is clearly a Rep. Vito Fossella and Bush priority.

Two leading Republican senators say they will demand President Bush offer a plan to start reducing U.S. forces in Iraq by the end of the year.


"Our amendment mandates that the administration immediately initiate planning for post-September contingencies, including a drawdown or redeployment of forces," Lugar's statement says. "It requires those plans to be presented to Congress by October 16 of this year, and it states that the plans should be designed to be executable beginning not later than December 31." [via CNN]

You can be a Republican and oppose Rep. Vito Fossella's absolute failure to support our troops.

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Fossella opposes troops, votes for more war

Thursday Congress took up a bill, H.Res.533, representing the interests of a majority of Americans which called for bringing American troops home from Iraq by April 2008. Rep. Vito Fossella voted against it [Roll Call no. 621]. He voted against supporting our troops. He voted against returning enlisted parents to their children, sons and daughters to their worrying mothers and fathers. Rep. Vito Fossella however is not alone as he voted exactly as President Bush hoped for, and stands side by side the President in supporting an ongoing failed strategy. Fortunately with bi-partisan support of Republicans crossing the aisle the bill passed the House by a vote of 223-201.

President Bush was quick to criticize it and threaten a to veto the bill, demanding as Fossella wished, that we keep our soldiers in Iraq, embroiled in trying to control a civil war the Iraqi government itself does not have any interest in trying to stop.

"Now, when [the Bush administration] keeps making mistakes as they have made, we have to intercede. The public spoke in the last election and said clearly we want the troops redeployed."

"We are wasting the time and trying the patience of the American people for no useful purpose," said Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, one of four Republicans who voted for the measure. [via CNN]

For Rep. Vito Fossella the lose of 3,600 Americans thus far is a perfectly acceptable outcome. Fossella of course has posters saying he supports the troops in his offices which in his mind must balance out the lose his votes continue to inflict on our American society.

This is Vito Fossella's war, we can never forget that.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Republican defections in the district

Recently Rose Margarella, the recent Republican nominee for the late Mr. Lavelle's North Shore Assembly seat, switched party affiliation to become a registered Democrat. What exactly does this mean for her former party? Via the SI Advance blog;

Rose Margarella, a two-time Republican candidate for Staten Island's North Shore assembly seat, has converted to the Democratic Party.
Staten Island Advance photoRose Margarella is switching political parties.


Ms. Margarella said the switch would allow her to be more involved with community issues on the heavily Democratic North Shore.

As stated, Rose was a two time party nominee for the Republicans. The North Shore is not exactly a swing district and the Democratic party does not need to recruit Republicans to switch in order to run moderate candidates. Quite the opposite, there is wealth of community leaders and candidates at the Democratic party's availability, making the defection seeming not based on potential future elected service for Ms. Margarella. This may have been enticing had it happened in the South Shore, but it did not. This leaves me with the feeling that the Republican Party must have really alienated their two time nominee enough to make her give it all up and essentially make a public statement about the strength of her former party. Although she goes on to say she has no dissatisfactions with the Republican Party that comment is not hard to see through as a final nicety on her part.

Did the party refuse to offer legitimate support? Did they fail to meet promises they made to one of their nominees? It is hard to answer either, but it seems likely that they have given up playing offense and are content or worse stuck playing defense with the seats they have in a hope that they do not become as irrelevant as the Republican Party in the other boroughs. This is all the more reason that the Democratic Party needs to keep up its efforts in the South Shore and why I keep harping on the initiatives of Manny Innamorato's campaign to take the party message door to door in the South Shore. This congressional district is not won in Brooklyn and the North Shore, it is won in what formerly has been neglected or assumed Republican strong holds. The groundwork is being laid by the Innamorato's and the Mike Ryan's.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Gen. Colin Powell and Vito Fossella

Yesterday we ran several comments from retired Gen. Colin Powell on his attempts to talk to President Bush and keep the United States out of Iraq and his belief that our military and attempts at troop escalations can not work to bring stability to their civil war. Not that there should be any doubt about his credentials, despite some very questionable time he worked for this administration, but I thought it might reinforce the respect he garners or at least had on multiple fronts. Via CBS News;

Rep. Vito Fossella of New York said he spoke to Powell on Tuesday and made the case for the retired four-star general to enlist in the Republican Party's effort to defeat Clinton, a standard-bearer for the Democrats.

If Rep. Vito Fossella thinks this man has the intellect and understanding to run for Senate, to vote on bills pertaining to withdrawing from Iraq or troop readiness, requiring they have training and supplies, why does he not simply listen to what is arguably Powell's area of expertise, military command? Powell thinks going into Iraq was a mistake and staying there is even worse. Unfortunately for Fossella he can't find a way to gain a sound bite or political leverage off this man he once admired enough to ask him to run for Senate, to now listen to him. It is time to send someone else to DC who has not been blinded and corrupted by the system.

Follow along on what stories we are working on with updates from Twitter.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Gen. Colin Powell opposed Fossella's Iraq War

This from the Times Online;

THE former American secretary of state Colin Powell has revealed that he spent 2½ hours vainly trying to persuade President George W Bush not to invade Iraq and believes today’s conflict cannot be resolved by US forces.

“I tried to avoid this war,” Powell said at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. “I took him through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers.”


He added: “It is not a civil war that can be put down or solved by the armed forces of the United States.” All the military could do, Powell suggested, was put “a heavier lid on this pot of boiling sectarian stew”.

So the question to you now is, do you support a retired military General, former chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff who is telling the American public that going into Iraq was and continues to be a mistake, or do you support Rep. Vito Fossella who thinks we will wake up one day soon and realize victory in Iraq. Do you support a military leader telling us military intervention and escalations are bad strategy or do you trust Rep. Veto Fossella, whose military expertise he garnered from President Bush.

Follow along on what stories we are working on with updates from Twitter.

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Republicans opposing Bush and Fossella's war in Iraq

via the AP;

The deaths brought to 99 the number of U.S. troops to die in Iraq this month, according to an Associated Press count. The toll for the past three months--329--made it the deadliest quarter for U.S. troops in Iraq since the war began in March 2003.

This is followed by a recently CQPolitics article, Sen.
Domenici Is Latest Republican to Step Away From Bush on Iraq

Sen. Pete V. Domenici on Thursday became the third prominent Republican within the past two weeks to call for a new strategy in Iraq, breaking publicly with President Bush on the eve of a renewed Senate debate over war policy.

"I am unwilling to continue our current strategy," Domenici, R-N.M., told his constituents during a speech in Albuquerque. The United States needs a strategy "that will move our troops out of combat operations and on the path to coming home," he said.

Rep. Vito Fossella of course has said nothing such and continues to
remain closely allied with President Bush on their Iraq strategy. As
more and more Republicans like Rep. Doolittle (R-CA) change their
views and speak out against our failed policy in Iraq, Fossella is
going to be one of the few strigent supporters left at Bush's side.
The question then for the voters of his district is whether you agree
with the overwhelming majority of this country that we are on the
wrong path in Iraq or whether you agree with Rep. Fossella that
President Bush is doing a 'heckava job' with our military and that we
should continue to stay the course.

Follow along on what stories we are working on with updates from Twitter.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Fossella where is bin Laden?

Dear Rep. Vito Fossella have we found Osama bin Laden yet? Oh you gave up looking for him? Strange, didn't he mastermind the attack here?


Revisiting Fossella's intimidation of local blogger

On May 14th I first wrote about a DMCA take down notice I had received;

On May 9th I received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice from Blogger informing me that someone has claimed an image I have used in a past article is violating copyright laws and that I should remove it from my blog. The image in question is this disgraceful flier Rep. Vito Fossella distributed last election cycle with a picture of Osama bin Laden and Stephen Harrison the democratic candidate. In my original post I note that the image was from Daily Gotham originally however it appears they have not been asked to remove their image.

I want to revisit this, because by this point I expected the final details to be available, however as you can see at chillingeffects.org they are not. This is frustrating because clearly someone was trying to intimidate me into removing the campaign piece from Rep. Fossella by claiming they owned the copy right however never proved to Blogger that this was true. Second there are very few, in fact really just one organization that could claim they own the rights to the image and that it could not be reposted and that is Rep. Fossella and his re-election campaign. So who on his campaign is responsible for this and is this something he encourages?

Follow along on what stories we are working on with updates from Twitter.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The bench: Mike Ryan, District Attorney Candidate

In a race garnering less attention than some more contentious races for seats in Albany or DC, the District Attorney elections are coming up this fall, and one of the few off year elections we will see. The incumbent, is DA Dan Donovan (R) and the challenger, as noted in the title, is Attorney Mike Ryan (D). While it is doubtful there will be messages coming out of this race that we can use to carry over into the Congressional race, there are many lessons. Similar to Manny Innamorato's strategy, Mike Ryan has decided to bring his message directly to the residents of the island campaigning door to door. Via Wrobleski's polit.bureau;

"We're out walking and knocking on doors every night," Ryan told us at Democratic headquarters in Port Richmond. "When we're not out walking, we're speaking to the political clubs."

Instead of focusing on prime voters in Democratic districts, Ryan says he's trying to hit every section of Staten Island possible.

The second part of that quote may be the most important, bringing the message to what otherwise would be considered the Republican base. It would have been sensible to see some Congressional candidates working with Ryan to build off the work of Innamorato's campaign. Rebuilding our efforts every campaign to introduce our Democratic message in the South Shore and mid island is an unnecessary expense of time and money that we need to change.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Where are the Democratic Candidates?

One problem we see in candidate recruitment and campaigning is the old notion that Congressional races start in January and are a 10 month race to November, hopefully with a primary win in September. We see it time and time again, Assemblyman Cusick suggesting he can wait until Fall to make up his mind, the mistake that was potential candidates refusing to publicly not enter the race in 2006.

As the party sits back and decides to relax this summer, Rep. Vito Fossella is raising money uncontested. Instead of running strongly against Fossella and out pacing him while he pays off his debt, we let him flaunt his easy walk to another term and easily raise money as an uncontested incumbent. At the end of March's Q1 Rep. Fossella was $173,750.46 in DEBT. Never before has he been this behind in a re-election campaign, yet with June over and the Q2 numbers being turned in we can expect to see him pull in another $150,000.

As we sit back and enjoy the summer consider this, Eric Massa, 2006 challenger against Rep. Kuhl (R-Corning, NY-29) has pulled in $50,000 simply through an online donor site, ActBlue (Massa's total COH will be much higher). He has 425 donors already just through ActBlue. He has been touring his district and has already solidified the endorsements of district County Democratic Committees.

Just north of Eric Massa's district we see political new comer Jon Powers announce his run for Congress against Rep. Walsh (R-NY-26) and he too is already at $100,000.

So where are Democrats in the 13th? We can sit around for another quarter and assure Fossella that he can wipe out his debt or we could be pulling $50,000 six quarters out from the general election. Congratulations to Democrats upstate in much less favorable districts who are making these top tier races.

From June 14;

So my question is when are we going to have a candidate running and a ground game in operation? When are we going to start building off the work of challengers like Manny Innamorato and bring our message to the South Shore? When do we start working with Mike Ryan, Democratic Candidate for DA this fall and go door to door offering solutions and possibly more important an interest to listen to the residents of Staten Island (and all of the 13th).

It is June already.

It is July already!

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Fossella losing the Conservative ballot line?

I have been sitting on some old articles by Tom Wrobleski, trying to make sense of some comments and see what came out of them. In a June 18 article, "The intrigue behind BP's community board moves", he writes about Borough President James Molinaro's recent changing of community board members via his power to appoint and retain members at his discretion;

In a bid to bring in new faces, Molinaro has removed 11 members from Staten Island's trio of community boards, including eight members of the South Shore's Board 3.

One reason, insiders said: Some deposed Board 3 members, including chairman John Antoniello, Public Service Committee head William D'Ambrosio and Environmental Committee chair Gregory Markow, are Republican Party supporters of South Shore GOP lawmakers, notably state Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island).

The article goes on to outline the feud between Lanza and Molinaro. Lanza as we know comes out of the South Shore Republican machine which officially or not acts on the graces of Rep. Vito Fossella. When Molinaro intervened in the State Senate primary for Sen. Marchi's seat, he allowed Robert Helbock take the Conservative Party nomination potentially splitting the party when it got to the polls. Needless to say the two are not as close as Fossella and President Bush. The intriguing part of all of this though, is the Fossella connection. Lanza is a Fossella supporter, which puts Fossella and Molinaro in a less than amicable relationship.

The implications could be far-reaching. One observer pointed out that no members were removed from Board 1, which covers the North Shore area represented by Democratic Councilman Michael McMahon.

McMahon and Lanza are both mentioned as possible candidates for higher office, and Molinaro has great influence over who receives the coveted Conservative endorsement in campaigns.

McMahon aside, although a point we should remember to revisit, consider that statement with 2008 implications. Should this feud go any further we might be watching a rather intriguing split in the Republican party on the island and the potential to withhold the Conservative ballot line from Rep. Fossella who votes a lot more 'Bush Republican' than he does true Conservative, or worse do we see the ballot line thrown to a Democrat in exchange for not forgetting Staten Island for the glitz of DC.

In 2004 Fossella garnered 8,400 votes on the Conservative line, or 1.9% of his total, a task that will most likely be improved upon should he get the nod. I am not going to put any money on a Democrat pulling the Conservative line, but a split ticket with a Conservative going up against Fossella could make things real interesting, all the while giving the Republican candidate for President both ballot lines if desired.

There is an identity crisis going on in the district with Republicans. The Fossella Republicans are not your parents or grand parents Conservatives, despite the implication when they share ballot lines. One is a party of limited and smaller government, the other is Rep. Fossella voting that the Government should intervene in family issues like the Terri Schiavo case. One is for free market economics, the other has Fossella giving millions of dollars in tax breaks to billion dollar oil industries. I enjoy pulling up a bleacher seat and watching the two parties wrest for control of the 'Republican' tag and hope some more Conservatives start seeing the error of Fossella.

see also:
WFP, Con, and Ind Party Strengths
WFP, Con, and Ind Party Strengths, Part II

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

LTE: The role of government, Republicans vs. Democrats

In a Sunday 'Letter to the Editor' (LTE) in the SI Advance a writer touches upon the fundamental differences of the Republican and Democratic parties while reporting on the recent food stories of tainted pet food, disease causing fish and even connections to Chinese food and drug imports;

And it is not just imported foods that are receiving less scrutiny. Between 2003 and 2006, the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress cut the budget of the agency responsible for inspecting domestic food-processing facilities by 37 percent. This has resulted in fewer inspections. It was recently announced that two U.S. companies sold feed used for livestock and farm-raised fish which was contaminated with the same chemical that was found in the pet food.


If you believe that the government should not interfere in markets, that it is not the government's responsibility to protect consumers, then voting Republican would be in your best interest. However, if you believe that it is the role of government to protect the consumer, then voting for a Democrat would be in your best interest.

You can read the rest of the article at the SI Advance.

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