Saturday, June 30, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Fossella represents Lobbyists not Staten Island
In a rather lengthy article about Ruppert Murdoch and News Corp his media empire, the New York Times (you can also read it here) starts dropping names and none other than our own Rep. Vito Fossella appears in a quid pro quo arrangement on behalf of Murdoch. The deal ultimately results in financial contributions to Fossella from News Corps PAC and lobbyists.
But the News Corporation turned to Republican allies to put pressure on Nielsen. Senator Conrad Burns, a Montana Republican who was chairman of the Commerce Committee's communications subcommittee, and Representative Vito J. Fossella, a New York Republican, introduced legislation that threatened Nielsen with government oversight.
One day after the bill was introduced, The New York Post ran an opinion article co-written by Mr. Fossella expressing outrage over plans for a museum at ground zero in Lower Manhattan. A news report in the paper that day raised the same concerns. Mr. Ginsberg said "the notion that Rupert had anything to do with that is laughable."
Political contributions flowed to nearly all the legislation's supporters. In 2005, the year the legislation was introduced, records show that the bill's 29 sponsors and co-sponsors together received at least $144,650 in donations from the News Corporation's political action committees and lobbyists.
Does Rep. Vito Fossella operate like this on a daily basis? Does he legislate to the highest bidder? It is time to Veto Fossella and send someone to Washington who is not corrupted by the system.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Support Stem Cell research by opposing Bush
Recently Rep. Vito Fossella choose bipartisanship over more Bush support. He was one of a handful of Republicans to cross party lines and vote with nearly every single Democrat in favor of a Stem Cell bill. Normally we criticize Fossella for the mockery he makes of his "independent" partisan identification he ran on in 2006 as he votes time after time ideologically with President Bush. This time however is different, and we commend his trip to this side of the aisle and his support of a successfully passed bill.
President Bush has since used only his second veto in nearly seven years in office to veto this bill that would provide much needed research access to stem cells in hopes of curing some of humanities most horrible diseases. Rep. Fossella's son has Type I Juvenile Diabetes, and stem cell research seems the only promising route to any cure. That research now looks as though it is delayed at least another year, or until this bill or a similar bill can come back to the House floor.
In a letter he wrote to his Congressional Representative, who happens to be his father, Dylan wrote, “The U.S. Congress has always been supportive of diabetes research and I hope for that support to continue. I am very grateful for those who are dedicated to finding a cure.” He added, “Let’s all try to team together so that none of us have to go through what we do every day of our lives.” [via BrooklynEagle.com]
In 2006 we saw Fossella run away from his party and from President Bush, but in reality there was little in the way of his voting record or public criticism that showed this. Today he has a chance to reverse this. We know Fossella speaks with President Bush, he flew on Air Force 1 with him after all, so we encourage him to use his bully pulpit and call out the President and his veto of this bill for what it is, anti-life. In a 2005 press release praising his work along side Rep. Castle to introduce a stem cell bill Castle proclaims:
One more day wasted, is another day a cure or treatment isn't found. We cannot hold up hope any longer.
Rep. Fossella, two years has past, and the President has stayed the course. Two years have past and there is no new movement or hope for stem cell research. I urge you to stand up to President Bush and explain what his veto is doing to hope for so many Americans. If we want change we can not continue supporting President Bush and hoping this time he will act different.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
LTE: The American Sacrifice for Fossella's War
In a recent 'Letter to the Editor' (LTE) in the SI Advance a writer wonderfully calls out this administration this Congress, Fossella included for the true costs of the misguided war in Iraq with a simple call to action, vote them out in 2008 and bring our Americans home;
They have defied the more than 60 percent of Americans who are fed up with the bloody occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Every day that our military personnel are kept in these countries continues their exposure to death or life-altering injuries.
The number of American military personnel who have died as a consequence of the invasion and occupation of Iraq now tops 16,000, which includes 13,000 who have died in military hospitals outside Iraq. Add to this number 24,000 permanently injured as a consequence of service in Iraq and the total number of casualties tops 40,000.
You can read the whole eloquent piece. Remember this is Rep. Vito Fossella's Iraq war just as much as it is Bush's. This needs to be his albatross. Not once has he voted to end it, to bring our troops home or to force this President into laying out a strategy for victory or even an exit strategy. In fact he continues to take to the House floor and support Bush while other Republicans are switching their views and realizing the horror that is happening in Iraq.
Friday, June 22, 2007
LTE: Fossella's support of Bush and Cheney
In a recent 'Letter to the Editor' (LTE) in the SI Advance a writer justly explains his frustration with this administration in DC but also with those elected leaders who support them. The piece is short and posted in full below.
The minimum we can expect from our leaders is truthfulness, honor and intelligence. In this group, we have instead lies, criminal and traitorous acts, neglect, and incompetence.
Democracy allows for a redress of grievances. Let's not wait for another election. We are entitled to a change and that change is long overdue. Bush and Cheney should be impeached and forced to accept responsibility for the damage they have done to our wonderful nation.
In addition, those whose voting record supports their heinous policies (an unnecessary war for starts) should follow in the next election. Are you listening Rep. Fossella?
And if you think Rep. Vito Fossella is unjustly linked to Bush and Cheney, just listen to Cheney's own words at a fund raising dinner for Fossella;
We're going to continue making progress for the American people, and in that work we could not ask for a better partner than Congressman Vito Fossella. (Applause.) Once again, I want to thank all of you for your commitment to the cause we share, and for electing Vito to Congress. Every time you vote for this man, you're voting for a better America, and for a strong, effective, patriotic Congressman who never forgets who sent him to Washington. The President and I look forward to working with Vito for a good many years to come.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
LTE: 9/11 planners still at large, and not in Iraq
In a recent 'Letter to the Editor' (LTE) in the SI Advance a writer comments on various aspects of the war in Iraq and criticizes our government for their decisions, most notably that we are side tracked with a war in Iraq while Osama bin Laden still has not been caught;
The United States attacked a sovereign nation that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. It was up to the people of Iraq to overthrow that dictatorial regime -- not us. The people who planned and implemented the 9/11 attack are still at large.
You can read the full letter here. Rep. Fossella here is an easy cover to save face and support removing our troops from Iraq. Iraq did not attack New York City. Iraq did not have the capability. You were nearsighted in backing the change of strategy to attack Iraq but we can over look that for now with a responsible plan that brings our troops out of Iraq and let's them solve their civil war and repositions the needed troops and supplies to Afghanistan.
The National Guard, South Dakota
In an on going series of posts we have called for Rep. Vito Fossella to call for the return of the National Guard to their home states along with their equipment in order to better support our country and communities. Since we have been covering various stories showing the toll sending them and their equipment to Iraq has had at home.
via the Souix City Journal;
The South Dakota National Guard only has 54 percent of its equipment available, according to a spokesman, Maj. Orson Ward.
Ward said $22 million worth of equipment was left behind in Iraq and Afghanistan, contributing to a total drain of more than $100 million in equipment for the state Guard.
Responding to disasters is not the only reason to have equipment available. "For us it's a big deal because what that means is, we do not have that stuff on hand to train on," Ward said.
Support America, bring our National Guard home.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
The Democratic Challengers, where are they?
There are six Republican held Congressional seats in New York state. Thus far three have declared candidates with websites and ground games up and running 18 months prior to the election. Here in the thirteenth we have possibly three great challengers but no declarations and zero ground game. Is this going to be a repeat of the disasterous effects of '06 where candidates sat around and played games before clearing the way for Harrison to run on a very condensed schedule?
NY-03, held by Rep. Peter King (R), no candidates
NY-13, held by Rep. Vito Fossella (R), no candidates
NY-23, held by Rep. McHugh (R), no candidates
NY-25, held by Rep. James Walsh (R), Dan Maffei Democratic Challenger
NY-26, held by Rep. Tom Reynolds (R), Jon Powers Democratic Challenger
NY-29, held by Rep. Randy Kuhl (R), Eric Massa Democratic Challenger
A while back we looked in the PVI, Party Voter Index system that Cook Reports uses to judge the political leanings of Congressional Districts. Rep. Fossella by their measure is in the 12th most Democratic district held by a Republican. He is the third most vulnerable member of Congress in terms of PVI from NY State, behind on Rep. King (NY-03) and Rep. Walsh (NY-25) [who has a challenger]. So you can see that in less Democratic friendly districts we already have optimistic candidates working hard on winning and here we sit idly by without anyone to keep on the offensive against Fossella.
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.
One year after Fossella claims a victory in Iraq
While researching something else I came across this press release from Rep. Vito Fossella dated June 6, 2006, following the death of al-Zarqawi;
“Every generation has its evil, from Hitler to Stalin to bin Laden and al-Zarqawi,” Fossella said. “His singular mission was to terrorize and murder innocent people. His death is a victory in the War in Terrorism and for the American and Iraqi people. His death will likely create disarray among the insurgency in Iraq and leave it without a mastermind to plan, coordinate and carry out attacks over the long-term. This is an important step in stabilizing Iraq and should allow the United States to move more quickly to draw down our troops. Al-Zarqawi’s death should send a clear message to every terrorist in any corner of the globe: The United States and its allies will hunt you down and bring you to justice for committing acts of violence against innocent people.”
One year later one must look back on Fossella's announcement and ask some reasonable questions.
When you claimed his death would cause disarray did you expect 4 of the 7 highest casualty months, since February 2003, for US forces to happen in the year since then? In the last year al-Zarqawi was leading the insurgency there were 827 American casualties. In the year following his death there has been 1,029. Is this the measure of success? (source: icasulaties.org)
If the insurgency is suppose to be in disarray why did you feel the need to support President Bush in sending even more troops to Iraq 9-10 months after you made the statement above?
I eagerly await a statement of retraction or correction Rep. Fossella. Realistically though I do realize you may be busy withholding money from charities and taking money from corrupt lawmakers, so no rush. Thanks.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
LTE: Giving Fossella the wisdom to end the war in Iraq
In a recent 'Letter to the Editor' (LTE) in the SI Advance a writer comments that after a recent trip to several war memorials in Washington, DC our elected leaders need the wisdom to respect our troops and end this war;
And the sight of several hundred thousand white headstones, row upon row, begs us to stop all wars.
Each of us should drop to our knees and ask our God to give the world leaders the wisdom to make the choices that will not add any more headstones.
You can read the full piece here.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
LTE: A Republican voting for Democrats
In a recent 'Letter to the Editor' (LTE) in the SI Advance, a writer makes several curious comments and several that I would consider questionable, however in the end I think the message is clear that a life long Republican is looking elsewhere for a candidate he can support;
I have voted Republican all my life, but I'm sure it's coming to the end. I'm 76 years old and I'm convinced I have to change my vote to Democrat or independent -- someone who will look our way.
You can read the rest of the piece here, though be forewarned who will come away with mixed emotions.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Army Lt. General denounces Bush's leadership on Iraq
The man who commanded US-led coalition forces during the first year of the Iraq war says the United States can forget about winning the war.
"I think if we do the right things politically and economically with the right Iraqi leadership we could still salvage at least a stalemate, if you will -- not a stalemate but at least stave off defeat," retired Army Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez said in an interview.
Sanchez, in his first interview since he retired last year, is the highest-ranking former military leader yet to suggest the Bush administration has fallen short in Iraq.
"I am absolutely convinced that America has a crisis in leadership at this time," Sanchez told AFP after a recent speech in San Antonio, Texas.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Bush supports timetables, Fossella supports withdraw plan
A little reminder.
Fossella supports withdraw plan
"The President has a responsibility to articulate America's long-term strategy before placing even one soldier in harm's way. He has asked the Congress and the American people to follow his lead, but he has shrouded in darkness where that road will take us. Leading military and foreign policy experts have questioned why the Administration won't define the mission and what plans are in place for us to withdraw."
"The President must have a frank discussion with the American people as to what our military's mission is, when victory will be achieved and how it will be achieved." -Rep. Vito Fossella
Bush supports timetables
via Think Progress;
“Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is.” - George W. Bush, Houston Chronicle:
“I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn.” - George W. Bush, Scripps Howard/Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The fine print, is that both of these men were criticizing President Clinton and our involvement in Kosovo, a war that had no US casualties, a war that had real NATO and allied support. Of course Kosovo never attacked us, if only Bush and Fossella knew Iraq didn't either.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
LTE: Support our troops, raise their pay, demand Fossella speak out
In a Thursday 'Letter to the Editor' (LTE) in the Advance and writer comments on the recent pay raise struggle between some members of Congress and the White House;
The Bush administration has asked for a 3 percent pay raise for our fighting troops for Jan. 1, 2008, enough to match last year's average pay increase in the private sector. The House Armed Services Committee recommended a 3.5-percent pay increase for 2008, intending to reduce the gap between military and civilian pay that stands at about 3.9 percent today.
You can read the full piece at the SI Advance. I am still awaiting Rep. Vito Fossella's scathing outrage towards this administration. After all this is the guy who takes every chance he can get to claim his support for the troops, so why is he suddenly silent on supporting our troops? Through his position he has the chance to take the House floor and demand the higher pay increase. He can hold press conferences educating the public on the need for this pay raise. He has done neither. It is as if 'supporting the troops' is just rhetoric to attack Democrats and nothing more.
Call Vito and ask him to speak out and demand the President support our troops;
SI: (718) 356-8400
Brooklyn: (718) 630-5277
DC: (202) 225-3371