Saturday, October 16, 2010

Elections 2010 – MA2, Incumbent Richard Neal (D) and Republican Tom Wesley Debate Issues for Half Hour Pre-Tapped Debate

Incumbent MA2 Congressional Represenative Richard Neal,(D), up for re-election in 2010 - photo urbancompass blog

The only MA-2 Congressional District Debate known to be televised before the mid-term election on Nov. 2nd took place yesterday on New England Public Television, Channel 57, in Springfield, MA. The one-half hour debate, broadcast at 7:30 pm, was tapped earlier in the day. Coverage of the debate on MassLive, the Springfield Republican’s Website offers the three areas of “interest “touched upon during the limited time allowed the public to compare and contrast the two candidates.

Tom Wesley, Republican Candidate for MA2 Congressional District 2010 image Wales Republican blog

Incumbent Democrat Richard Neal continued to imply that he would be taking up issues when he returned in next session, between each of the three questions poised during the debate. The Congressman spoke for the longest period of time during each question and appeared a bit too over-confident throughout the debate. In the first round of questions, regarding jobs and taxes, Neal accused Republican opponent Tom Wesley of being an “outsourcing expert”, Wesley countered that although companies are forced to outsource to the fact that the U.S. corporate tax rate is second only to Japan (which country is reviewing their tax policies), he also was responsible for bringing jobs back into the country when the tax climate changed. As an example, Wesley cited a company brought back to the district from Germany, when that nation’s tax rate became unfriendly. In addition, in disusing taxes, Wesley brought up the fact that Congress allowed the Bush tax cuts to expire, which means that all constituents will bear a heavy tax burden in the coming year. Neal, who stuck to the party line of “no tax cuts for the Rich”, agreed with Wesley, when he inquired of Neal, what the Congressman felt was “rich”, and if the a $500,000 bench mark might be in order, keeping small business owners’ more comfortable. Neal said he was willing to look at that when he returned for the next session. Neal continued to focus on the incorrect fact that cheap labor drives outsourcing, while Wesley having asked and answered, smiled and told the moderator to move onto the next question. Wesley appeared controlled and confident in all three areas touched on during the debate.

On the question of spending Neal spoke about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the cost of which being the responsibility of the prior administration, never noting that the continued and increased effort in Afghanistan was undertaken by the current administration. Neal noted that he voted against his own party in the original Congressional role of allowing then President Bush to seek military action against Iraq. He said it was the “best vote he ever made”. Mr. Wesley, a veteran, also spoke to the conflicts, noting Special Forces should be utilized instead of the full-scale military option in both instances.

On the question of Health Care Reform, Neal stuck to the Obama Health Care plan, while Mr. Wesley offered alternate solutions, which appeared to be unacceptable to Congressman Neal. Wesley pointed out the jobs lost in the district due to the Health Care Reforms and taxes, while Neal spoke about constituents who were without health care. The later a bit disingenuous as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has mandatory health care coverage. Wesley suggested that certain portions of the Health Care Reform bill were acceptable, however, offered options that would lower costs to both taxpayers and business. The most humorous statement made in this segment came from Congressman Neal, when Mr. Wesley spoke about an Ambulance service that had to reduce its workforce (cutting jobs), because of the cuts to Medicare reimbursement which all health care providers are experiencing. Congressman Neal quipped: (paraphrased) “I know about ambulances – I won an award in Washington from an Ambulance Association!!” Although that statement might be tied with the response by Congressman Neal regarding Social Security and Medicare: (Paraphrased): “I know about Social Security and Medicare”! The fact that seniors would not be given a cost of living raise for a second straight year, was not discussed, nor the fact that Congress had insured they received an annual C.O.L.A.

In the debate, it was clear that Mr. Wesley knew a thing or two about the issues at hand, and that Congressman Neal was clearly on the defensive. As there were no closing statements, it is difficult to score the debate, however, regardless of any partisanship, Mr. Wesley, on content and appearance of control, scored. Both men would be eligible for congeniality awards, if one were looking for a fiery exchange, there was none present.

All in all, the time allowed was far too short, and other districts in the Commonwealth, such as the MA 1, which borders the 2nd district, incumbents have given the time to their constituents by taking part in either multiple and or extended televised debates. One would think, as Congressman Neal voted with the entire Massachusetts Congressional Delegation to take a break in order for incumbents in the Congress to go back to their districts to campaign, one would be seeing a great deal more, as far as debates and coverage of this particular district race. In addition, with that vote to leave, the issue of the Bush Tax cuts was left on the table – the result, a continued hiring freeze from employers across the district who are not sure what liabilities they may face in 2011.
The full podcast of the debate should be available after its second airing, this Sunday at 10:30 am. On Channel 57, in Springfield, MA.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Massachusetts 2nd Congressional District Pre-Debate – Supporters Rally for Incumbent Richard Neal and Republican Challenger Tom Wesley

Tom Wesley Supporters Rally Outside of WGBY Springfield

The debate between Massachusetts Second Congressional District Incumbent Richard Neal and challenger, Republican Tom Wesley, will be aired tonight at 7:30 pm on Local PBS Channel 57, WGBY, Springfield and again on Sunday at 10:30 am. The debate was tapped earlier in the day, and both the Neal and Wesley campaigns held rallies in support of their candidates. This rally, not unlike the entire campaign, was not covered by any of the local news stations, not one newspaper, nor was one television news station present.

Arriving on Hampden Street at 10:45 am, one could see there were a few people gathered on both sides of the street next to the building that houses Channel 57, and others were stationed on Columbus Avenue. In general, the crowd was distinguishable by the union (carpenters) and other locals holding Neal for Congress Signs, while many of the Wesley supporters had take the time off work in order to stand in support of their candidate. The carried American Flags, Wesley for Congress Campaign Signs, and a few signs bearing messages for Congressman Neal. Both camps mingled and appeared to be fairly polite. About 20 minutes into the rally, additional Wesley supporters continued to arrive, while the Neal supporters packed up their signs and left. The exceptions being one Neal Staffer, one Neal family friend, a lawyer who was helped by Neal, and one Duval Patrick campaign staffer. They stayed until the tapping of the debate ended at approximately 12 noon.

Neal Staffer holds Campaign sign

Photo’s below give a clear idea of how much dedication it takes to support a candidate in New England on a rainy, damp New England day, during a lull in a Nor’easter. There was one minor incident where a staffer appeared a bit shaken when one Wesley supporter, as the Neal campaign staffers were packing up, shouted (paraphrasing) “Get a Real Job!”. The intent of the shout was in all likelihood, one which was motivated by this individual knowing that the youth worked for the campaign, and therefore, was not employed by the private sector. However, understanding that campaigns won and lost, include those staffer’s jobs, and it was clear from the tone of the young man’s voice that he was a bit rattled and defensive. It must have been difficult to witness a small number of union workers and staffers standing for his candidate (employer) and the larger contingent of Wesley supporters who were there.

Tom Wesley emerged confident from the Debate.

Scenes from the Neal-Wesley Debate Rally

Scenes from the Neal-Wesley Debate Rally

Scenes from the Neal-Wesley Debate Rally

Scott Brown (R-MA) Endorses Nine Massachusetts Congressional Candidates – What are the Odds?

Scott Brown - at it again - An updated version of this cartoon would read: Congress in place of Senate - image frugal cafe

Senator Scott Brown (R-MA)endoresed all nine of the Republican’s running for Congress this November. From the Boston Globe: Brown noted:

“On November 2nd, the people of Massachusetts are ready to send another message to Washington,” Brown said this morning in a statement. “Right now, we need new independent voices in Washington who will fight for more jobs, lower taxes and stand up to the out-of-control government spending that has driven the national debt to record levels. I am proud to support these candidates.”

The fact that the majority of the districts were won by the Brown in the January 19th special Senate Election by, in some cases, a 57% margin, is of interest. What is happening on the ground, and Brown would be keenly aware, is the attitude of the electorate has in no way changed since last January. Therefore, one can bet the house (literally) that more than one Congressional Seat in the Commonwealth is a “toss-up” (See Real Clear Politics) and those that are even factored are not “safe democrat”.

The fact that there are nine viable Republican contenders for seats held by Democrats in Massachusetts is the big story, a story; however that has gone forward with little to no fanfare – so far.
The nine districts in play are:

The MA 1 district: John Olver, D faces Bill Gunn, business owner
The Hampden 2nd (MA 2): Richard Neal (D) faces Tom Wesley, businessman and veteran
The MA3 – James McGovern (D) faces Marty Lamb, business owner and attorney
The MA4 – Barney Frank (D) faces Sean Bielat, former Democrat, and Marine who has a background in business and government.
The MA5 – Niki Tsongas (D) faces Jon Golnik a business owner
The MA6 – John Tierney (D) faces Bill Hudak, a business owner and attorney
The MA7- Ed Markey (D) faces Gerry Dembrowski, business owner and physician
The MA8 – Capuano (D) uncontested – (Safe Democrat)
The MA9th – Stephen Lynch (D) faces Vern Harrison, businessman
The MA10th – No Incumbent: Republican Rick Perry (one of the Few Republican office holders, at present, in the State) faces Democrat and District Attorney, Bill Keating.

There’s a theme here, in case one missed it: all challengers, with the exception of one (Perry) are: business owners, or people that have worked for a living and many, are either active duty and or veterans in and of our Armed Services.

One has to live either under a rock, or in Washington, to believe that all nine districts that are contested will continue to be held by the current occupant. Although the 4th District is receiving a good deal of national attention, (recently) as is the 10th, it is those districts which are under-reported by the local press and written off by the national press, which one might want to invest in. Perhaps not as generous at the $1,000 reportedly given to each campaign by Senator Brown, but a $1.00 here, and $5.00 there would go a long way towards sending another message from the Commonwealth – where the original revolution began. Is that to say each and every one of the nine races will be won by the Republican, no, but one can take a good look at the way the district voted in the election in January, which received, if one would recall, little attention until the 9th hour, when it was apparent, then Republican State Senator Scott Brown stood a chance.

Polling, of which there has been none, with the exception of internal polling on both sides of the aisle in these races, may or may not occur, given the pollsters “intelligence” which comes from – the Beltway. Using Obama’s popularity in 2008 as a barometer as to which way the wind will blow in the 2010 mid-terms may find many pollsters wishing they had instead based it on the mood of the nation, and the individual candidates within in race, and the districts most reasonable barometer – the way the public voted for the man who endorsed all nine of these candidates. Although one might argue, that Brown’s motivation was to pump up one or more of the candidates that appear to be capable of upending an incumbent, one must also consider that Brown, being no dummy, might be laying the ground work of political capital for the future, in both working with members of Congress of like mind, and of having the endorsement of Republican Representatives from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts backing him in 2012. Smart money is on the later.

Struggling Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Campaigns on Abortion – Is it Truly a Social Conscious or a Sure-Fire Fundraiser that Motivates?

Barbara Boxer Uses Abortion Issue in Desperation - image Politico

FromPolitico: Barbara Boxer, in a rally at a Hollywood, CA hotel, claimed that her opponent, Republican Carly Fiorina, “would become a sure Senate vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.” Apparently, Boxer is unaware that neither Chamber of the House, Senate or Congress, has the right to overturn any Supreme Court decision. The only “danger” to a “woman’s right to choose” would be the people’s hiring of a President, who would then have the right to appoint Supreme Court justices, which are first vetted and approved by the Senate. The abortion football, like the “gay marriage” football, have become nothing more or less than political cards, played to the public and used with no real intent or power, for that matter, of moving the debate forward or solving any issue. When someone declares their personal belief in life or abortion, one is merely stating an opinion and unless than someone is sitting on the highest court in the land, it is a moot point.

Therefore, Boxer’s logic (and any other politician who tries this tactic) follows that the voters in California, or elsewhere where that tired card is played, feel that “protecting the rights of the unborn” or “fighting for a woman’s right to choose”, at this point in the game, should trump the fact that there is high unemployment, and major entitlement programs upon which she (and her like-minded peers), voted upon in order to suck the life out of our nation. Social issues come into play when the economy is not in “tatters”, and when all is “rosy”. What Boxer, and other politician’s in her position (danger of losing a job, and joining the 9.6% of the nation (low estimate by some economists) who are no longer employed) are left with, after either knowingly, or worse going to incompetence, unknowingly took part in the legislation that caused this mess, are the “scare tactics of social issues”. Regardless of Fiorina’s personal beliefs, or O’Donnel’s, or Witman’s, or Pelosi’s, or Murry’s, or any one of the women running who are either pro-life or pro-abortion, the women (or men) who count are sitting on the Supreme Court.

It is, as of the present time, a women’s right to choose whether or not to end the life of a child in utero, however, those who might matter politically are at the State level, not the Federal level, and would move legislation forward that would either limit or increases access to abortion, and those laws are then challenged – in the courts. So, in reality the politician’s one must be most concerned with, specifically on the issue of abortion, are those who are applying for jobs as State Representatives and State Senators and Governors who would sign into law a bill on the subject – however, no state can trump the Supreme Court. No one, in any position in a State or Federal office, now, or in the foreseeable future, has the ability to overturn anything.

It is the duping of those who have no clue when it comes to civics, that “career” politicians’ hope to prey upon. It is the collective body politic, that would stand to move an issue one way or the other, and the time it takes to do so is obviously lengthy. Roe vs. Wade was decided upon in in 1973 and to date, no one politician or individual has brought a successful appeal forward to the only body upon which the issue is adjudicated. It is especially shameless when a woman in the political arena, either pro-or anti abortion, uses this issue to campaign, without specifically acknowledging the steps necessary to move it forward, and either their or their oponnents very minor role in the process, they are not feminists, they are merely taking advantage of other women.

The Democrats, who are clearly in danger of losing their majority, cannot “man up” (how sexist) and campaign on their records – records which the voting public who are motivated by the economy are clearly aware. Wild claims, made in front of clueless celebrities, with the backing of the nation’s foremost lobby on abortion (N.A.R.A.L.) smack of desperation and an entreaty for hard cash – which Boxer will need to clear her debts after Nov. 2nd.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Richard Neal (D-MA) Against Term Limits – For Debates – Against Meeting with Constituents.

Note: Election 2010, Massachusetts 2nd District: Richard Neal and Tom Wesley Debate Scheduled 10/15/2010 WGBH Springfield

In an interview this year on a Northampton, MA talk radio program, Congressman Richard Neal, expressed his sentiment on term limits – as being in place already as he faces re-election every two years. He also expressed that should he have as serious challenger, he would meet that challenge in a debate. Neal will debate Republican, Tom Wesley, a veteran and businessman this Friday on WGBH Springfield Both Wesley and Neal are expected to draw supporters outside the Springfield Public Television station from 11:00 AM onward. The debate will air later in the day. Apparently, Neal feels that Wesley is a serious contender for the Hampden 2nd Congressional Debate, according to the Northampton interview. (Show below via You Tube).

In meeting with certain constituents, Neal may decline. A recent Channel 22, WWLP story, (video also below), shows Move and Progressives protesting outside of Richard Neal’s office (the Federal Building in Springfield). The protesters noted that they had requested to meet with Neal on several occasions however, he has not responded – so they leave a letter. Although one might not agree, politically with these constituents, the fact that they have repeatedly requested an audience with the Congressman, is somewhat telling. If Neal will not meet with Constituents which are members of his own party (See Progressive Democrats), then who will he meet with?

Richard Neal on Term Limits

Richard Neal on Meeting with Constituents

MA 2010 Barney Frank and Richie Neal Run on Save Social Security from Republicans - No Increase for Seniors in 2011 - Again

Richard Neal (D-MA2) Runs on Social Security - Again - photo credit kerry senate

Although running on one’s record in Congress during this particular mid-term is not the most popular tactic for incumbents, even in Massachusetts, one would think that any Democrat Congressional Representative would know better than to run the tired scare tactic on the Republican Party and Social Security. Not so for both Richard Neal and Barney Frank, two Massachusetts Democrats facing challenges this election cycle. Under the current administration and the watch of the Democrat controlled legislature, seniors did not receive a cost of living increase in Social Security benefits for 2010 and will not receive an increase again in 2011. Neal is running a television advertisement on Social Security (not found on the web as of this writing) and Frank, is is visiting seniors noting that he’s “working hard to get them an increase in Social Security payments that so many say they need as their bills continue to rise.”

The question this election will be, are seniors buying this message? The fact that Social Security increases are determined, not by the Congress, but rather the Social Security Administration which is driven by the U.S. Department of Labor.

That said no incumbents are running on Congressional cost of living increases or C.O.L.A.’s, which are automatic, and in place regardless of the economy. According to an article in the Jackson, Mississippi, Clarion Ledger: “that drink's all the rage among senior citizens.”

With the increasing use of the web and instant news access for American’s seniors (especially the estimated 76 million baby boomers, many of which are just beginning to collect social security retirement benefits.) that message may not resonate this November, even in Massachusetts. Both Richard Neal (D-MA2) and Barney Frank (D-MA4)face Republican Challengers in this years election. Neal will face Tom Wesley, a businessman and veteran and Frank will face Sean Bielat, a businessman and active reservist on November 2nd.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Clinton and Palin – Media Seek Roads Which Appear to Lead to 2012

One cannot help but notice the increasing articles speculating on both Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton’s political aspirations and the 2012 General Election. For both women, it would be a natural progression of their political philosophy and individual patriotism that would lead to declare a candidacy for the Presidency in 2012.

Sarah Palin attends a conservative event and it is seen by US News as a “big step towards 2012 run for President”. Although Palin has repeatedly denied any such designs, and has stated her focus is solely on the mid-term elections, every move she makes indicates that 2012 is, in the mind of the media, “on the table.”

Hillary Clinton is being analyzed in the same respect. An article by the AP’s, Matthew Lee, wonders why Clinton might be avoiding the midterms, and that there are rumors of a run in 2016. (A departure from some pundits who are looking towards 2012, and rumors of Clinton being replaced as Secretary of State this coming year by John Kerry (D-MA).

What is telling is the jabs at Palin are becoming even more frequent, while Clinton is suddenly a target as well, with a recent article commenting on her hairdo at a United Nations event. The media’s ability to pick apart wardrobe and hairstyles, once a candidate is even remotely seen as a challenger, (must be a woman), is indicative that any runs may be, in the minds of some, sooner than later for both women.

Those of like mind (this blog included), seek clues as to what might happen after November 2nd, and which of the candidates, for both major political parties will emerge to run for the Top Job. Although many believe that it is too soon for a woman to take the office (those comments are privately made, and summarily dismissed as ridiculous by this blog), others might think the time is long past for the nation to be led by a Mother of our Country.

When speaking to a campaign official about Clinton’s options (off the record), the question of gender did arise, however, when offered the hypothetical of a Palin-Clinton contest in 2012, gender becomes a moot point, and the musings begin about the chances of each given their diverse backgrounds, baggage and the ability to relate to the Public.

2010 will be historical, there is no doubt, the Congress and Senate may see a major shift that has not occurred in decades, and 2012 is poised to be the year in which America’s have a choice between two of the most interesting women in politics – trumping all historical elections this nation has seen.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Richie Neal (D) 2010 Challenger Tom Wesley Joins Congressional Republicans in call for weekly spending cuts.

Congressman Richard Neal's (D-MA) opponent on the 2010 Hampden 2nd Ballot, Mr. Tom Wesley, has joined Republican Congressional Represenatives in a call for weekly spending cuts.

The Wesley Campaign noted in a recent press release: Tom Wesley joined Congressman Boehner in his call for weekly spending cuts if the GOP takes control of the House of Representatives.

According to the Palm Beach Post, Congressman Boehner said, “You’ll see us every single week move bills that will cut spending.”

Congressional Candidate Tom Wesley said, "This the exact kind of commitment that Washington needs right now to reduce spending...I would work with Leader Boehner to propose spending cuts on a weekly basis."

"Our national debt is unsustainable, we must reduce spending and we must have a disciplined approach in doing this," concluded Wesley.

Neal, who is a proponent of spending programs (voted for every spending mesure put forth by Nancy Pelosi in the last Congress - see roll call votes Library of Congress here .

More at Tom

Desperate Dems Invoke “Karl Rove” in New Ad – Axelrod Challenged by CBS’s Bob Schieffer – “Is That All You’ve Got?” – Incumbents Avoid Debates

David Axelrod (left) invokes the name of Karl Rove (right) in weak attempt to rally base - image: Reuters

White House Advisor, David Axelrod, on this Sunday's CBS’s “Face the Nation” was chastised by journalist, Bob Schieffer for a recent DNC advertisement that offers an outright fabrication regarding Karl Rove, former George W. Bush advisor, Republican’s in general and the Chamber of Commerce taking foreign monies to finance campaigns. Schieffer categorized the assertions as “Peanuts” and when pressed for details, Axelrod came up empty. Schieffer queried “Is that all you’ve got?” (Video clips below)

The UK’s Telegraph offered: “Epitaph for Barack Obama's Democrats: 'Is that the best you can do?'”, an excellent article outlining the latest attempt by Democrats to salvage the Mid-Term elections.

Axelrod may be thinking that anything goes in campaign finance due to the Obama campaigns use of then

"Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor's identity, campaign officials confirmed."
(Washington Post 10/28/2008 article)

Democrats, who apparently will not defend the legislation passed by the Congress, nor campaign on issues due to the aforementioned legislation, are now digging deep into the well in the latest attempt to rally the base by accusing Rove and “Big Business”.

The simple fact that Democrat Incumbents are avoiding Debating opponents nationwide is telling. (Google Democrats avoid debate and find countless articles) Apparently, when one cannot stand on one’s record, entering the debate forum is a risk.

Not all Democrats, however, are adverse to risk nor concerned about the Debate forum, as Massachusetts Barney Frank,(D-MA4) who is “continuing to lose ground”(AP) to Republican Sean Bielat, entered the arena yesterday twice, once on WRKO and a later debate on NECN (clip below). After watching the debate on NECN (three segments available here, one understands why Democrats are not eager to face their Republican opponents. Bielat trounced Frank in both debates, calling the long-term incumbent out on occasion for Frank’s usual refusal to acknowledge statements made on any given subject, regardless of a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

Meanwhile, in the Hamdpen 2nd, the Richard Neal campaign has issued a press release that notes they have agreed to two debates, however, however, the release features no date of release nor offers a clue as to when the debates might take place. The first is allegedly tentatively scheduled for October 15th at 7:30 pm on WGBY Springfield (the local PBS station). Neal was also asked to participate in “Town Hall Style Debates” and is said to have declined.

With Congress convening in order for the House and Senate Democrats to hit the campaign trail (while allowing Bush Tax Cuts that affect every single taxpayer) to expire, one would think they’d find the time and take the opportunity to get out and face their opponents head on. (Especially in Massachusetts and the 8th District in California (Pelosi) That said, they may fear constituents response might be similar to that of Bob Schieffer’s: “Is that all you’ve got?”

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mid-term Elections 2010 – Massachusetts - No Cost of Living for Social Security 2011 - Seniors Lose Medicare Advantage due to Health Care Reform

From the Springfield, Mass. Republican: “the government is expected to announce this week that more than 58 million Social Security recipients will go through another year without an increase in their monthly benefits.” The increases are set on the rate of inflation, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is no need for an adjustment. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not include either food or fuel in its inflation rate, which will leave many seniors stuck between a rock and a hard place this coming year.

In addition, Massachusetts and Iowa Seniors will be left without a huge safety net: their Medicare Advantage programs. In Massachusetts, Harvard Pilgrim announced it will end its Medicare Advantage program, leaving 22,000 seniors out in the cold. The reason: paying for the National Health Care Program signed into law by the Democrat controlled Congress and President Obama. Someone has to pay, and why not those who paid most into the system? From the Heritage Foundation: an article written in September discusses the loss of this crucial benefit to seniors. In an interview with the VP of Customer Service at Harvard Pilgrim, the following quote is stunning: “We know that cuts in Medicare are being used to fund national health care reform. And we also had concerns about our ability to build a network of health care providers that would meet the needs of our seniors.”

Therefore, cuts to doctors and insurers are forcing them to take the more expensive Medicare Supplement plans off the table, and in addition, they are concerned about finding doctors for patients that subscribe to these plans – they’ll offer them lower cost options, with lesser benefits.

What is a Medicare Advantage Plan? From

Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called "Part C" or "MA Plans," are health plans offered by private companies approved by Medicare. If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, the plan provides all your Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans always cover emergency and urgent care. Medicare Advantage Plans must cover all the services that Original Medicare covers, except hospice care. (Original Medicare covers hospice care even if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan.)
Medicare Advantage Plans may offer extra coverage, such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs. Most plans also include Medicare prescription drug coverage.

Therefore, those who are left without Medicare Advantage Coverage (Part C) must foot the bill for expenses that had, in the past, been covered, but will not be covered by Medicare Parts A & B.
So much for the President and Congresses promises that U.S. Citizens could keep their coverage. As a direct result of the new program, those most vulnerable have lost the medical coverage they rely on.

Massachusetts is not the only state that has seen a carrier pull out due to “Health Care Reform”. In Iowa, (Chicago Tribune): insurers will drop 21,000 seniors from their programs in 2011, and one can expect carriers in other states soon following suit.

For those Congressional Representatives, up for reelection, who voted for Health Care Reform, and have the nerve to campaign on “saving social security”, seniors and those relatives that are concerned for their parents and grandparents, should sends a solid message letting them know the consequences of their signing that bill.

To find out how your Congressional Representative Voted visit this link Here .

The following Massachusetts Congressional Representatives voted “Yes” for Health Care Reform:
Democrats — Capuano, Y; Delahunt, Y; Frank, Y; Lynch, N; Markey, Y; McGovern, Y; Neal, Y; Olver, Y; Tierney, Y; Tsongas, Y.
All of the Massachusetts Congressional Representatives are up for Reelection:

The following Representatives face Challengers for their Congressional Seats:
John Olver faces Bill Gun
Delahunt (Retired) Republican running: Jeff Perry
Barney Frank faces Sean Bielat
Richard Neal faces Tom Wesley. Note: Neal is campaigning on Social Security!
Nicki Tsongas faces Jon Golnick
McGovern faces Mary Lamb
Tierney faces Bill Hudak
Ed Markey faces Gerry Dembrowski
Capuano – not contested
Lynch (who voted against Health Care Reform, faces Vernon Harrison

Although pundits will note all districts are “Safe Democrat”, those predictions are made in Washington, not the cities, suburbs and hill towns of the Bay State. It has not gone unnoticed that there is little news on theses Congressional Races, nor the fact that all incumbents are actively campaigning, many for the first time in their “careers”. This vote is one which has cost our seniors dearly – there are others, just as egregious, that the above referenced MA congressional reps have taken right in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi and against their Constituents wishes.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

2010 Mid-term Update MA Hampden 2, Richard Neal WWLP News Video vs. WWLP Tom Wesley Video - Analysis

As the race for the Hampden 2nd Congressional district winds down to its final weeks, there has been, to date, very little coverage by the local news outlets on the race. Recently that has changed to include at least one Google alert per candidate (Tom Wesley Republican, Richard Neal Democrat) per day, either by blog and or surprising a newspaper article. This particular race has to be one of the least covered races by the mainstream media in the entire 50 states. Therefore, those searching for news about candidates must resort to investigating whatever sources they can find. It’s not easy.

One would think something as historical as a challenger to a 22 year incumbent might be newsworthy, considering this year, Republican Challengers in Massachusetts are neither “fringe” candidates, or lackluster candidates, but candidates that can resonate with the people, across party lines, and attract attention, from everyone except: the main news.

Below is a video taken when Richard Neal announced his reelection campaign? The following is a greatly abridged except from the video, which is worth watching.

Abridge Richard Neal Remarks from WWLP video – promises to continue to protect social security and make sure that Medicare remains protected - Speaks comfortably in the body of his peers – of his saving of Westover Air Reserve Base, and thanks the Labor movement here, for their support – spent time protecting the middle class – knows the challenges – and that the people inspire him, not vice versa.

WWLP Video Richard Neal Open House available at and YouTube.

Although one has to applaud the Congressman for campaigning, for the first time in decades for his seat, he has recycled the same material used for the past 10 elections, Social Security, Westover Air Reserve Base, and his protection of the middle class. (Usually found in ones mailbox every two years on a glossy postcard.)

None of these are issues that are on the tops of the minds of those in the district.

For example:

A constituent might want to know, why Congressman Neal voted for additional stimulus funds, voted for the health care reform act, and while the people are suffering here in Western Mass and the Hampden 2nd in General, he voted to take a break in order to get back to his district to campaign. The reason the later is important: it allowed the Bush Tax Cuts to expire, and that means, less in every constituent’s paycheck on the 1st of January, reduction in child tax credit, and on the corporate side, a hiring freeze.

Therefore, those are important issue stat affect every single person in the distinct, and on Medicare, and Social Security – Neal does not talk about his vote on Health Care Reform, in its final package, the fact that those Social Security Recipients have lost their Medicare Advantage plan. Many of whom have lost access as of now, to medicine that is life sustaining. Go figure – he did not bring that up.

In all fairness, that may be because he has no clue that this little gem was included in the Health Care Reform Bill that was signed (along with Government takeover of the student loan industry which has insured higher interest rates for all students and parent entering college – idea to pay for health care reform) because he didn’t’ read it. If he did read it and let it pass, shame on him, if not, then shame on him too.

WWLP did do a feature on Tom Wesley, it was fair, and gave an overview of Mr. Wesley, but the only place one can find that video now is on Face book – It is not on the WWLP website (unless it’s hidden under some category like food, and this blog searched the site. One can access the video on face book via a link here to a recent piece by WWLP on Tom Wesley,Republican Candidate against Richard Neal. The video on Face book does not have an embed feature. The fact that it is not on the NBC Affiliate site, does not serve the public, as it is a good piece, and gives insight into Mr. Wesley and offers up some of his ideas for change in the Congress and how Mr. Wesley differs from Mr. Neal.

It’s beginning to appear to constituents, more by the day, that the lack of coverage on this race, means only one thing – that the incumbent, Richard Neal is in more trouble than previously thought, and that come November, he and members of his staff, may find themselves joining the 9.6 (or higher if one subscribes to Gallup) percent of Unemployed Americans.

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