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

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

Friday, August 31, 2007

SCHIP: Fossella's staff write LTE's

On August 1, 2007 Vito Fossella voted against SCHIP, which would provide insurance for children to low and moderate income families. Since then his spin team has been trying to portray this as a vote to protect Medicare. Yesterday his press secretary, Craig Donnor, and not Vito himself no surprise there, replied to a Letter to the Edtior in the Advance stating;

"Mr. O'Leary wrongly portrays this issue as a battle of rich against poor. The unfortunate reality is that the Democratic Congress pitted seniors against their grandchildren in a fight for access to needed health care. In contrast, Senate Democrats passed a bipartisan bill that expanded SCHIP and contained no cuts to Medicare." - Craig Donnor

Mr. Donnor would be well off reading the post here from last night about the AARP praise for the passage of the SCHIP bill that Fossella voted against, and lambasted specifically NY State members of Congress who voted against the bill. The AARP supports the SCHIP bill;

The bill strengthens Medicare's programs for low-income older Americans that help them get the health care and prescription drugs they need, while reducing excess payments to private Medicare Advantage plans. The CHAMP Act also reauthorizes and strengthens the SCHIP program, which already provides millions of children with affordable health coverage, and allows states to cover more than 5 million eligible uninsured low-income children who are not enrolled in the program.

Mr. Donnor and Rep. Fossella can continue to say they support SCHIP, but when the vote took place Fossella voted NO. When they then said the problem was not SCHIP it was Medicare cuts the AARP shut down those claims and state the bill strengthens Medicare.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

SCHIP: Fossella vs. AARP

On August 1, 2007 Vito Fossella voted against the bill to reauthorize the SCHIP program. In his floor speech Fossella claims he supports SCHIP (by voting against it) and that in fact his only objection is to supposive Medicare reductions in the same bill;

"In my district alone it will reduce funds for Medicare Advantage by $58 million for the 38,000 enrollees in just the first year..."

(The above is my transcription of a portion of his one minute floor speech)

But before he goes on, let's turn to an expert in this area, say the AARP, American Association of Retired Persons;

"AARP applauds those representatives from New York who voted for the CHAMP Act," said AARP State Director Lois Aronstein. "These lawmakers put the needs of older Americans and low-income children ahead of special interests, and took the necessary action to help improve our health care system. SCHIP and Medicare are critical for the health care of this country and the CHAMP Act makes necessary improvements to both programs. We look forward to working with Senators Schumer and Clinton to put a bill on the President's desk before SCHIP expires in September."

Aronstein added: "We are disappointed by New York representatives who voted against strengthening health care for children and improving Medicare. As Congress leaves for vacation, some lawmakers chose to reject the opportunity to strengthen Medicare and provide health insurance for millions of eligible children who are without health coverage. When SCHIP reauthorization and Medicare legislation return to the floor for final approval, we hope those members will rethink their vote against such a critical bill." [via Press Release, Aug 2]

So you can listen to Fossella's claims that he supports SCHIP by voting against it, and that he is only concerned about Medicare, or you can listen to what AARP is saying about this bill improving Medicare. Your choice.

see more at:
Fossella and SCHIP

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Fossella praises SCHIP after voting against it

on August 1, 2007, Rep. Vito Fossella voted against SCHIP, a series of state programs that provide insurance to children of low and moderate income families. The bill was HR 3162 Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007. This is Vito Fossella's vote against SCHIP. Remember that beacause Vito Fossella wants you to think otherwise;

via the SI Advance;

In a letter to federal officials, Fossella (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) warned that rules issued this month [from the President's administration] would be a blow to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which provides states with federal matching funds to offer health coverage to children for families with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. [bold text my own edit]

What is more of a blow to State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is the fac that Rep. Vito Fossella voted against the program on August 1, 2007.

"Unfortunately, new requirements would hurt states like New York from providing coverage to additional uninsured children," Fossella said in a statement. "A policy of denying access to health care to additional low-income children is misguided."

What hurts states from providing coverage is congressional representatives who vote against the program and try to cut its funding or end it altogether. Rep. Fossella has it right though that denying access to health care to low-income children is misguided, almost as misguided as his own vote against it and now his attempts to put blame elsewhere for hurdles to implement the program.

On August 1, 2007 Vito Fossella voted against SCHIP.
On August 29, 2007 he tells us the actions of the President's administration are harming the program, not his own vote against the program.

for more information on SCHIP and Fossella's vote against it see:
Bush and Fossella Oppose Insuring our Children

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fossella wants aid for Greece, not Louisiana

Fires are currently raging across southern Greece causing havoc and destruction. Vito Fossella has suggested that the US offer humanitarian aid while closer to home we recognize the two year anniversary of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, and Fossella's outright refusal to help Americans in own recovery.

via the SI Advance;

"These fires have wreaked havoc across much of southern Greece and destroyed the homes, property, businesses and personal belongings of countless innocent people," Fossella said.

Fossella also said he will formally ask the U.S. State Department to provide humanitarian aid to the Greek government.

I sense another 'fact finding' trip in his future.

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Two years ago today, Hurricane Katrina

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in one of the most devastating natural disasters to ever impact our country and taking the lives of at least 1,836 people.

In February, 2007, just six months ago, as houses and communities were still ravaged if not destroyed, and as the gulf coast was still trying to rebuild schools, infrastructure, and even basic housing, Rep. Vito Fossella from the floor of Congress, in the world's most powerful nation, bravely voted against extending additional federal aid to help provide housing assistance to low income families still trying to cope with what happened two years ago.

To be fiscally conservative Vito Fossella decided to let the homeless remain homeless.

In order to provide tax breaks for the rich Vito Fossella decided to not provide the poor any government help.

Compassion towards fellow humans it seems is not profitable or beneficial to Vito Fossella's career

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More on the Advance's fluff piece on Fossella

I started doing some 'web surfing' to try to find the website making the tshirts in the SI Advance article we covered last night (SI Advance almost covers a news story). I have yet to come across it and can use some help. If you can find the site (shopzeus.com) through a 'random internet search' as the Advance did please pass along which search engine and search terms you used to stumble across the site. Feel free to leave a note in the comments or email me ny13blog(at)gmail(dot)com

So far;
Vito Fossella, Google, not in the first 10 pages of search results
Vito Fossella, Yahoo, not in the first 10 pages of search results
Love Vito Fossella, Yahoo, not in the first 10 pages of search results
I Love Vito Fossella, Yahoo, not in the first 10 pages of search results

more tonight...

I love Vito Fossella, Google, #1 return for Amazon.com not shopzeus.com
So that wasn't very hard to stumble upon a shirt store selling "I love Vito Fossella" shirts when you enter the exact phrase in Google. This though is quite different from the articles claims to "stumble across it". The questions this raises though still need to be asked:

What was Rob Hart searching for when he wandered across this site?
How did he find shopzeus.com because the search results only bring up Amazon.com (at least in the first 100 returns)?

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Monday, August 27, 2007

SI Advance almost covers a news story

Since Congress is on vacation, the Advance logically figures there is no Congressional news (and or investigative reporting) for it to cover. Therefore they take the next logical step and write about a tshirt company, selling tshirts;

Do you love Rep. Vito Fossella?

If so, now there's a way for you to show it outside the voting booth: An "I Love Vito Fossella" shirt.

The article, like our war in Iraq goes on, and notes it eventually notes that some company is making tshirts with the names of somewhat famous people on them. Get this, they have a shirt with Vito Fossella's name on it. Eventually after several paragraphs of fluff promoting people's obvious love of Rep. Fossella they mention no one has actually bought one of these tshirts. And thus they neatly wrap up the article.

Not just is this news, this is courageous reporting. Anyone can come along and write about our troops, or traffic congestion, or massive federal debt and/or budget deficits, poverty, rapid transit, etc. But it is rare that a reporter manages to ignore all of that and kiss ass to the extent they have in this article and clearly recognize the boundaries of balancing the communities interest with offering free publicity for an elected official, and they completely bypass those boundaries.

The more I think about it, I have a question for Rob Hart (this certainly is no Tom Wrobloeski article). You fail to mention how you found out about this "tshirt company" so in your appropriate follow up where you apologize for your failed journalistic integrity please expound on how this story came across your desk, least we assume this is nothing more than free advertising from Rep. Fossella's office that you obliged in printing.

A hat tip to a reader that points out that the article says;

If a Web surfer stumbles across it -- through a random Internet search, say, as happened with the Advance -- and shares the sentiment for Staten Island's congressman, he or she can order one.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

"Long tours put stress on soldiers and families"

Those are the words of Army Secretary Pete Geren today, via USA Today;

Army Secretary Pete Geren on Thursday ruled out extending troop deployments beyond the current 15 months, saying that longer tours in Iraq put stress on soldiers and their families, and have contributed to an increase in suicides.

As we have covered, Vito Fossella recently voted against a bill that would extend the time in between troop deployment to equal the time they are serving away from home. Fossella voted NO on that. If you have to go reread that quote above that says our troops are deployed for up to 15 months at a time and Vito Fossella has the audacity to say they do not need more down time and rest time with their families.

The conflict, with its lengthy and repeated deployments that have relied largely on the Army's more than 500,000 soldiers, has stressed the all-volunteer force, its families, its health care system and its recruiting efforts.

An Army report last week showed that repeated and ever-longer war-zone tours have helped to push soldier suicides to a record rate. There were 99 Army suicides last year — nearly half of them soldiers who hadn't reached their 25th birthdays, about a third of them serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

When presented with the chance to vote for extended 'dwell' time, as Geren puts it, or time not fighting in war 24 hrs a day, Vito Fossella confidently voted NO asserting that a soldiers place is on the front line of a misguided war and not at home with their families.

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LTE: Fighting in Iraq instead of finding bin Laden

In a Thursday 'Letter to the Editor' (LTE) in teh SI Advance, a writer comments on our misguided invasion of Iraq at the expense of not having enough support to track down bin Laden the mastermind behind the attack on NYC.

Yes, there is a war on terror and, yes, we all lost loved ones on Sept. 11., but you, me, my brother and us all, were snookered, hoodwinked, bamboozled, duped and fed a whopper.

This war is being fought in the wrong theater, and don't think for one minute that our brave and fierce troops don't realize it. Just think if during WWII instead of landing on Normandy we hit the beaches of Greenland... [Advance]

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

SCHIP and what Bush/Vito are doing to children's health insurance

I bow to someone a little more knowledgably than me on this subject, Elizabeth Hartline Green of the Drum Major Institute;

For anyone who has picked up a newspaper in the last few months, the news that President Bush (and Vito Fossella) has decided to make it much harder for states to expand eligibility for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program beyond 200 percent of the federal poverty level is unsurprising. Bush has been threatening to veto a bill (and Vito voted against the bill) that would increase funding and access to the program for a while now, claiming that it will encourage people to not use available private insurance options. The new policy will not allow states to extend coverage unless they enroll 95% of children who are eligible at 200% of the poverty level (something which no states have been able to do). If states do meet that eligibility percentage, they also must certify that every child whose family makes over 250% of the federal poverty level has been without insurance for at least a full year.

This leaves me with one question: why are we using the health of children as a pawn to make a political point about socialized medicine? Certainly, states should do everything they can to maximize enrollment, but that could be more easily done through easing the somewhat complicated process and increasing access to information. We probably aren't doing enough to reach all the children who are eligible for the program, and this group should be tapped out. But reaching all of these children will be exceedingly difficult to do without an increase in funding for the efforts (something Bush is not willing to allocate money towards). Should states who want to expand the program to cover more children really be banned from doing so? Besides this, there's the fact that several states, with federal approval, already cover children beyond the 200% line—this guideline is promising to wreak havoc on their current systems and on the families who will have coverage withdrawn.

bold text my own.

see also:
Bush and Fossella oppose insuring our children

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Fossella (and Bush) votes against allowing troops time off from war

Vito Fossella has once again voted against the interests of our troops by opposing HR 3159. The bill calls for equal time at home for troops as they have spent deployed and would prevent back to back deployments with no rest or rotation. Clearly allowing our troops time to recover and see their families after engaged in war for months on end is a threat to Vito Fossella's war in Iraq. Certainly Vito Fossella is not making any similar sacrifice, but he certainly feels qualified to split spouses, remove parents from their families all in the name of "supporting the troops."

And if it wasn't obvious, once again President Bush and Vito Fossella are coordinating their efforts and Bush has now threatened to veto this bill after Fossella's NO vote was not able to stop it.

via the Navy

It would impose, in law, specific deployment lengths and time at home between deployments. Active-duty members would have to spend at least as much time at their home station as deployed before they could be deployed again to a war zone. National Guard and reserve members would be promised they would not be deployed until they had been home at least three times the length of time of their previous deployment. The legislation allows those standards to be waived in an emergency.

"Our troops and their families are tired. They are being stressed by the continued and extended deployments. It is time for Congress to take a stand on behalf of our families and say in a clear, unequivocal voice that it is time that service members have a minimum dwell time between deployments," said Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., the House Armed Services Committee chairman.

"The Bush administration's current strategy of multiple back-to-back deployments has stretched our military and is breaking our all-volunteer force," said Tauscher, a senior member of the committee. "If we fail to act, we do so at the expense of our military readiness. We need a posture that allows units adequate dwell time to recover, train and equip before their next assignment."

Apparently there were some formatting issues when I pasted that, sorry.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bush and Fossella oppose insuring our children

Apparently President Bush is going to step up and help Vito Fossella by vetoing the recent SCHIP bill that passed the House expanding health care coverage to millions of children.

via NY Times;

The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families.

But clearly this is a partisan issue right? Democrats are trying to burden the government with additional costs and ALL republicans oppose this. Not so fast;

The Children’s Health Insurance Program has strong support from governors of both parties, including Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Sonny Perdue of Georgia. When the Senate passed a bill to expand the program this month, 18 Republican senators voted for it, in defiance of a veto threat from Mr. Bush.

As you read that remember back when Vito Fossella tried selling that he was an Independent fighter for this district. Well once again, no surprise really, he sides with President Bush even in opposition to Republicans. Hooray for a Congressman who can finally stand up to uninsured children and just say no and focus on the needs of private companies who clearly are struggling.

see also:
More on Fossella refusing to insure children
Bush follows Fossella's lead, opposes insuring children
Why did Fossella vote against extending health care to our children?
Fossella votes against providing children with health insurance

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More on Fossella refusing to insure children

Campaign for America's Future brings some coverage of Vito Fossella voting to deny health insurance to children through SCHIP programs.

How I spent my August recess: Rep Fossella edition;

But even though Fossella doesn't want his constituents to know about his vote, the NY13 Blog is spreading the word.

NY13 Blog notes that while Fossella doesn't want to expand coverage to uninsured kids, he's happy to welcome Wal-Mart to his district, a company that leaves more than half of its employees uninsured.

Bring in jobs with insufficient insurance. Provide no public recourse. Feel the compassion!

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Fossella losing the Conservatine party ballot line, part II

On July 2 [Fossella losing the Conservative party ballot], I pondered in a piece the potential for Vito Fossella the potential that the Conservative Party may throw their endorsement to someone other than Fossella in 2008 and the ramifications that will have on his candidacy. Essentially the lose of the ballot line for Fossella could tip this seat to the Democratic nominee.

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.

In the recent news roundup was an intriguing bit of information that extrapolated on this notion. Tom Wrobleski not so subtly hints at the same potential outcome that the Conservative Party could really throw a wrench in things or better put force candidates to pay attention to constituen interests;

On Conservate BP Molinaro's presence at a Democratic party event;

"People can read into it whatever they want," Molinaro said. "No one is assured of an endorsement from me. No one. I will do what I feel is in the interest of the Conservative Party." [via Tom Wrobleksi at the SI Advance]

Certainly this may just be a bi-partisan (rare I know) approach to addressing the needs of the borough, but his demeanor and mere suggestion that he is not in Fossella's back pocket have to raise quite a few eyebrows. Clearly Tom is intrigued.

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The cost of Iraq on Staten Island and Brooklyn

Boulding of DailyGotham brings us this find outlining the cost per congressional district of the war in Iraq. Needless to say if we were willing to fund projects here at home instead of in Iraq we would live in much more prosperous community.

What Citizens of New York's 13th District Could Have Gotten Instead:
· Health care coverage for 283,252 people—or 536,733 kids, or
· Head Start for 177,181 additional kids, or
· 18,745 new elementary school teachers, or
· 256,786 scholarships to make college more affordable, or
· Renewable electricity for 2,917,228 homes, or
· 8,857 affordable housing units, or
· 30,939 public safety officers to keep the streets safe

but the best summation is his wrap-up;

Maybe it's time for a Congressman who doesn't insist on throwing his constituents' tax dollars down the Iraq sinkhole.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fossella on America rebuilding, post disasters

As many of us are aware a tornado touched down in the district almost two weeks ago and caused tremendous damage. It is scary and devastating when something like this hits so close to home, yet unfortunate that rebuilding is a game of politics, one that Vito Fossella is all too well versed in.

Rights, along with representatives from Congressman Vito Fossella's office, the city Department of Emergency Management, the state Emergency Management Office and the state Small Business Administration toured about 35 homes and businesses that suffered damage. Fossella's office had compiled a list of many of the homeowners who were affected.

"This was a critical step as we work to help residents recover from the storm," Fossella said. "I will be working closely with the federal, city and state officials in the coming days to ensure that resources are available for residents and businesses impacted by the storm and that every action is taken to provide comprehensive assistance for those in need." [via SI Advance]

When I talk about why I care about politics and the function of government I tell people it is all about community. If my neighbor is not doing well, then I am not doing well. If my neighborhood is afflicted we all suffer. It seems that there is a portion of Americans who reach out to those in need, and a portion who do what is good for themselves so they are never in need, neglectful of their community. It is commendable that Vito Fossella is making sure those in need after this disaster are getting the government funding and support available to rebuild, however it rings all too hollow when you consider that Vito Fossella voted against recovery bills relating to the absolute destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in the gulf coast. Notably, in just March of this year, he voted against H.R. 1227, a bill that provided Congressional assistance in low income families displaced or who lost much if not all in the wake of the Hurricane.

To me government is about all of us, and helping any in need, not just those whom you represent. Fossella turned his back on our neighbors in Louisiana and Mississippi for the sake of fiscal conservatism because the cost associated with helping rebuild these areas really cut into tax breaks. Now, suddenly we are afflicted with disaster, fortunately on a much smaller scale and Vito Fossella has found the ability to support recovery and rebuilding.

The hypocrisy for one person to be so arrogant in thinking that Americans, not in his district have been given too much, when they have lost everything and then to turn and demand funding when a tornado hits our home is absolutely bewildering. My government does not do this. My government is not compassionate when it allows for press opportunities, it is compassionate when ever someone is in need, whether locally or elsewhere in this country. My government should not be giving out tax breaks to the wealthiest when across this country there is poverty and need, not to mention Americans serving in our armed forces in desperate need of supplies. Vito Fossella has failed all of us, and one day, should we be met with a fraction of the destruction caused by Katrina and should our government turn its back on us, after learning this from watching Fossella, then what?

My thoughts and prayers to all Americans who have faced devastation both near and afar. May we together reach out and help all in need and become a better country for it.

See Also:
Gulf Coast Hurricane Housing Recovery Act of 2007

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1571 Days Later


Saturday, August 18, 2007

How many dead Americans was Saddam worth?

"Not very many, and I think we got it right" - Dick Cheney, 1994 on not invading Baghdad and capturing Saddam.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday night humor

"Laughter is the best medicine. My family couldn't afford health insurance."

Tom Cotter


Bush follows Fossella's lead, opposes insuring children

Yesterday we covered a recent NO vote by Fossella on a bill to extend health insurance coverage to millions of children currently uninsured, as well as providing additional support to Medicare for senior citizens. Well it turns out President Bush agrees with Vito Fossella and is now threatening to veto the bill. If it is not clear, Bush is just as independent of a thinker and leader as Fossella.

Clearly insuring children threatens the fabric of our nation and it must be stopped at all costs or so that is the message of the Bush/Fossella plan. The Bush/Fossella plan suggests that uninsured Americans get insurance! It is simply brilliant in its simplicity and yet pathetically selfish in its caving to corporate interests. Since when did we start listening to private insurance companies financial interests over allowing a child access to a doctor?

He [Bush] favours a system of tax breaks that encourage uninsured people to take out private insurance.

I recently was without a job, although financially better off that those considered low-income households in America, and in Fossella's district. I paid out of pocket $600 a month for basic insurance coverage, not including deductables and co-payments. The Bush/Fossella plan calls for those who work at jobs such as Wal-Mart, which Fossella is actively helping bring to Staten Island, that does not provide insurance for its employees, to buy their own insurance. A worker would be looking at two weeks of work to have the income to pay for one months worth of insurance at the rate I paid into my COBRA plan. So the Bush/Fossella plan calls for tax cuts to help those Americans pay for their insurance. I know the last time President Bush talked tax breaks I certainly didn't see any money, so I find it ominous to ask my neighbors to trust them this time. Further, even if there are tax breaks, are these families really paying 25% of their income in taxes, and are they then going to see a full 100% tax break, because otherwise the tax break on $30,000 a year really does not cover the $7,200 annually I was paying into private health insurance. And that was just for myself, no children to cover.

The alternative is the bill that passed, despite Fossella's opposition.

The scheme grants federal money to help states cover the health insurance costs of families who are just above the earning limit for the state sponsored Medicaid but don't earn enough to pay for private insurance. It is estimated this will continue coverage for 6 million children and extend it to another 5 million or so uninsured children. [via Medical News Today]

You can not support the needs and build a better future for our children and support Rep. Vito Fossella.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Harrison declares, media round-up part II

Stephen Harrison for Congress!, Joshing Politics

For this city, one (R) is too many and Harrison is our best hope to get Vito out.

Congressional race on Staten Island may be a rematch, NY Times

Mr. Fossella, a Republican who represents all of Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, had the closest race of any member of Congress representing the five boroughs, a race he won with 57 percent of the vote. His Democratic opponent, Stephen A. Harrison, did better at the polls than most opponents Mr. Fossella has faced since he first went to Congress in 1997.


“I plan to raise more money and to smile a lot more this time,” Mr. Harrison said. “This time, we want to make sure that the fund-raising is in place and in place early. We did well last time, but we didn’t have the money in place to help create the momentum and credibility that we needed. This time, we’re starting early.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Why did Fossella vote against extending health care to our children?

Vito Fossella voted against HR 3152 which provides health insurance for children and improves Medicare for our senior citizens. The bill will provide 5 million American children with health insurance. It also improves Medicare for 44 million seniors and people with disabilities by adding preventive health care benefits, increasing benefits for low-income seniors, and reducing unnecessary taxpayer subsidies to Medicare private plans.

At what cost to us are Rep. Fossella's votes? He continues to recklessly obstruct government by trying to shut down every bill and vote out of spite towards democrats.

Fossella voted against providing housing assistance for low income families devistated by Hurricane Katrina.
Fossella voted to cut all funding for the Dept. of Transportation just before the structural bridge failure in Minnesota.
Fossella has voted against giving our troops pay raises.
Now he has voted against giving our children health insurance.

Is this really who you want representing you in DC? Tell Fossella he represents you, your children and your grand parents NOT President Bush.

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Candidate speculation; August 2007, Harrison is in

With Harrison's announcement that he is in, he clearly is the front runner today. Councilman Recchia is still getting plenty of coverage in all the Harrison announcement articles, although he is not returning calls and has made zero movement so it is unclear why this is happening. Assemblyman Cusick has been downgraded after announceing the to SI Advance that he would not be running. Assemblywoman Hyer-Spencer has been downgraded as there has been no speculation at all regarding her for quite some time. Finally Councilman McMahon has been slightly upgraded to no movement, although he is clearly not running for this, he once again does not appear to want to make any public statements that he is not running. Good PR for him, bad news for the party

no movement
positive movement (towards candidacy)
downgraded movement (away from candidacy)
Stephen Harrison
Council Member Recchia
Council member McMahon
Assemblywoman Hyer-Spencer
State Senator Savino
Assemblyman Cusick

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Harrison Announcement, Part VII, Closing

If you have access to the original uncut version of this speech and would like to share it please contact me. ny13blog(at)gmail(dot)com

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Harrison Announcement, Part VI, Fossella

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Harrison Announcement, Part IV, Universal Health Care

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Harrison Announcement, part III, National Security

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Harrison announcement speech, part II

Stephen Harrison goes after the false notion that Rep. Vito Fossella is as he calls himself an 'Independent'.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Video: Harrison Announcement

Here is some background on those contributions Steve talks about;
Wal-Mart contributions Vito Fossella sells out his district for.

Vito Fossella's pay off contributions from big oil companies.

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Harrison declares, a media round-up

Harrison vs. Fossella, Round II, TheAlbanyProject.com

Harrison's In, DailyGotham.com

Baghdad Vito Freaks Out, DailyGotham.com

Stephen Harrison to challenge Vito again, Bay Ridge Courier

Harrison to challenge Vito again, The Brooklyn Paper

Bay Ridge Attorney Harrison Campaigns for Seat in Congress, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle

New York City’s Only GOP House Member Faces Possible Rematch, NY Times via CQPolitics

And in incompetent news coverage there is the Advance;
Harrison, for the '08 race, denounces Fossella on a host of '06 issues, SI Advance

Vacation and bad timing

I sure did pick a bad week to be traveling and not have much internet access. So we have a candidate in Stephen Harrison, the 06 party nominee. Lot's of media coverage, a rarity. Clearly looking at Thursday's web traffic here there is quite a few people looking for information on this race post Harrison announcement. We I am back, not very rested but ready to jump into a litany of blog posts.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Harrison to enter race tomorrow

2006 Democratic nominee is expected to announce his candidacy tomorrow for Rep. Vito Fossella's Congressional seat, this time six months earlier and against Fossella who is struggling with large amounts of campaign debt.

via Daily Gotham, thanks Bouldin for this press release; "Harrisons In"
via Daily Politics; Democrat Steve Harrison will formally announce his second attempt to unseat Republican Rep. Vito Fossella.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Fossella votes against providing children with health insurance

Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007
Vote Passed (225-204, 4 Not Voting)

The House voted for this bill that would expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, adding up to 5 million children to the program.

Rep. Vito Fossella voted NO

Rep. Fossella is not one of the 12% in Staten Island who live in poverty and need this program. He also by way of his office in Congress has one of the best health insurance plans of any American. If only the poor constituents of his district were able to take $10,000 contributions from people like disgraced former Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX) like Fossella then this may not be an issue.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Iraq once again way over budget

via CQPolitics;

The cost of war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next fiscal year will likely exceed the $145.2 billion request the White House made in February.

via Rep. Vito Fossella's own press release, March, 2007;

Congressman Vito Fossella (R-NY13) today received the highest score in New York State – and ranked in the top 15% in the entire House of Representatives -- for his efforts to reduce taxes and limit government spending based on a review of 199 votes by a well-respected non-partisan taxpayer advocacy group.


I believe Staten Island and Brooklyn residents are smarter at spending their money than the government and deserve to keep more of it to invest, save or buy a new computer, fix up their homes or go on a vacation.

Agreed. If only Rep. Vito Fossella would let us spend that $145+ billion on what the tax payers wanted instead of his ill gotten war he stubbornly refuses to back down from supporting. Fossella must believe the tax payers of Brooklyn and Staten Island would rather he waste spend their money for them.

You can not be fiscally conservative and support Rep. Vito Fossella.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

The risk of investing in infrastructure in Iraq instead of New York

via Andrew Sullivan and the Daily Dish comes this frightening reality;

This map from 1993, shows percentage bridge structure deficiency per county. Red indicates at least 32% of the county's bridges are structurally deficient. Yes New York is entirely red. This is all the more relevant today in light of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Additionally with Rep. Vito Fossella's war in Iraq it is not a large stretch to say that we are investing daily in rebuilding the infrastructure of Iraq at the cost of neglecting the same needs here at home. We are spending upwards of $200 million a day in Iraq that could be and should be put into local communities across this country. We would not have to close fire houses because of budget cuts. We could fully fund the needs of our VA hospitals and outpatient clinics in Brooklyn and Staten Island. All this selfishly is being denied because Rep. Vito Fossella wants to make a point and give President Bush a few more years to somehow pull progress out of some magical hat of his.

This makes Rep. Vito Fossella's recent efforts to cut all funding to the Department of Transportation absolutely reprehensible. It is irresponsible of Fossella to attempt to block funds to programs such as the Department of Transportaion's Bridge Inventory Database or their efforts to get states to inspect the 750 bridges across the country with designs similar to the one in Minneapolis.

h/t to Daily Gotham

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Fossella calls escalation a doomed failure

We are witnessing a gradual escalation of America's role in this war. The Vietnam War offers us historical evidence that gradualism is a policy doomed to failure. Congress today demonstrated its support of our troops, but the President still needs to come before the American people and articulate our short- and long-term role in this military campaign." [link]

Rep. Vito Fossella, May 6, 1999

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Friday, August 03, 2007

NY National Guard called up to Afghanistan

Thanks to the Albany Project for bringing this to our attention. Via the Democrat and Chronicle;

The largest single deployment of the New York Army National Guard since 2003 will send more than 1,700 soldiers to Afghanistan, according to an announcement Tuesday from the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

About 200 members of the 27th Brigade, headquartered in Syracuse but with members across upstate New York, will deploy as early as September for Operation Enduring Freedom. The rest will leave in the following six months to relieve the South Carolina Army National Guard's 218th Brigade.

Many thanks to our National Guard members for this sacrifice and work they will be doing in Afghanistan. This follows on the heels of their hard work here at home in NY State;

The announcement comes after a busy year at home for the Guard. Members were activated during last summer's floods in the Southern Tier, a winter storm that damaged scores of trees in Buffalo and powerful winter storms in the Hudson Valley and Oswego County.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Vito failes once again to cut off funding the Government

Departments of Commerce and Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations for FY 2008
Vote Passed (281-142, 9 Not Voting)

The House passed this $53.6 billion bill that would fund the Department of Commerce, Department of Justice, NASA and other science agencies.

Rep. Vito Fossella voted NO

Rep. Fossella trying to cut off funds to the Department of Justice that go towards finding and convicting individuals who provide material support to terrorists but also funds that would go towards investigations of his fellow party members, such as Sen. Stevens (R-AK) who just had his house raided by the FBI yesterday. Not only if Fossella trying to prevent the Justice department from protecting our homeland his actions would allow corrupt politicians to stay in office and never be investigated. Way to go!

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