Saturday, October 09, 2010

Obama makes Return to Boston – Rally for Deval Patrick 10-16-2010 – Flashback: Obama Stumps for Coakley 1-17-10

The Boston Channelis reporting that Barack Obama is on his way to Massachusetts to stump for embattled incumbent Mass. Governor, Democrat Deval Patrick on October 16, 2010. The rally will be held at the Hynes Convention Center at 12:30 pm. This begs the question, with every democrat in the Commonwealth vulnerable, will the Obama visit, do a whit of good for Patrick?

Recall the last time Obama stopped in to support equally popular then candidate Martha Coakley back in January of 2010 - she lost the race for the open Senate seat to Republican Scott Brown. In addition, the attendance at the Coakley rally was somewhat dismal to say the least – 1500 attended a rally held inside a school gymnasium, with another “2500 in a spillover room” (Globe). In Massachusetts, even in frigid January, a crowd of 4,000 is, in a word, chump change.

With increasing drama coming from “Independent” Tim Cahill’s’ campaign, specifically the revelation from one of his staffers (who summarily quite) that both Cahill and Patrick’s campaign were working together to undermine the Republican, Charles Baker’s chances, it is doubtful that Obama’s visit will garner results any more successful than his January visit with Coakley.

Both Obama and Patrick were mentored by David Axelrod, white house advisor and campaign strategist - Patrick was used as the “field trial” down to the slogan “Yes We Can” for the 2008 Obama campaign. What the strategists fail to understand is that Massachusetts, although a blue state has been under the Patrick administrations guidance for longer than the nation has had to endure Barack(Barak to Barack) corrected 10-17) Obama – and, simply put, the citizens know better now – both in Massachusetts and the Nation as a whole. It is doubtful that this visit will have any impact on the actual odds of Patrick being reelected, despite his and Cahill’s best efforts.

Friday, October 08, 2010

2010 Update - Richard Neal(D-MA) - Reinstated GM Dealership– Erects Giant Neal ‘For Congress" Sign on Heavily Traveled District Roadway

One Hand Helps Another, Neal for Congress Sign on Reinstated GM Dealers Lot
During the bailout of GM (which came to be known as Government Motors), hundreds of dealerships across the country were closed. One of many in Massachusetts was Bob Pion Pontiac. In March of this year, The Springfield
Republican Reported:

After prodding from U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, General Motors Corp. reversed course and has reinstated Bob Pion as a Buick and GMC dealer.

Several comments under the article are telling: aside from the fact that Neal helped out a local business, with the intent to save jobs, and possibly Government Motors at the same time, (and a Local Photo opp in an election year as a bonus) it appears as if the Company (GM), now owned by the Federal Government took marching orders from the Congressman, who was able to “pursued” GM to reinstate one dealership over another. (Not All GM Dealerships were reinstated, some were said to have lost their Franchise due to Political Affiliation see Ohio Dealership struggle here)

The sign (shown below) is prominently displayed on the dealership lot at a major intersection leading to connectors to Routes 90 and 391. This heavily traveled area, also known as the “Crossroads to New England” brings in shoppers from all over the Hamden Second District.

It is the “good old boy” one hand washes the other, appearance brought about by the sign on the Dealers lot that may leave a “bad taste” in some potential voter’s mouth.

What’s the big deal? It really depends upon how strongly one feels either for or against an incumbent this term. It was a real test of friendship on the part of Pion, as far as attracting clientele who may have stopped in, but for the obvious plus for the Congressman. Others might just shrug their shoulders and consider the fact that it’s “politics as usual” in the Commonwealth.

Richard Neal will face Republican, Tom Wesley, in the November 2nd election. Wesley has been unsuccessful in convincing Congressman Neal to debate in a Town Hall Style format.

It’s All About 2012 - Obama Stumps for Re-Election at Bowie State in MD – Student Calls Obama a “Liar” from the Crowd – Removed

On October 7th, Obama paid a visit to Bowie State University in MD, one of the oldest African-American Teachers Colleges in the Nation. The event, according to the University Website, was open to the public, and had been publicized by local Maryland Media, including a Map of the upcoming visit courtesy of the Baltimore Sun”.

During the speech, a student shouted “You’re a Liar” from the crowd - (video below) – and was summarily shoved by what appeared to be a non-student. The video-tape appears to be staged in an attempt to judge reaction – and, at an event billed as “open to the public”, with a sitting President, who had been elected to lead all the people, free speech is obviously not an option.

Aside from the fact that the student in the video and the videographer, appeared to take a substantial risk inserting themselves into a crowd of Obama supporters (see Obama for America t-shirt clad individuals in video), what was most telling about this particular video was the content of the speech.

Allegedly at Bowie to rally students to get out the vote – the crowd, which by this particular video appeared somewhat thin compared to prior rallies at the same location, was treated to a stump speech by the President about - the President. “Me” was used a great deal – as well as the tired “Party of No” that has been used ad naseum by Democrats. Paraphrasing: “they said no to middle class tax cuts”, “they wanted me to fail”, “if I said the moon was blue, they would say no”, and so on.

Apparently, the President is counting on the ability of youth to be disengaged from the rest of the world, enough so that his message will be embraced. The University Stump is apparently the only venue, other than a few select “back yard” meetings, that the President is headlining prior to the mid-term elections. That could be due to the fact that most embattled Democrats want Obama as far away from them as possible, unless completely desperate, as in the case of Wisconsin’s , Russ Feingold, who is currently trailing his Republican opponent by 12 points. In that case, they head to the Universities in the hopes that students will get out and vote. Although students were used in the 2008 campaign successfully, the change in the economy and what is at stake (the mid-terms) may keep them away from the polls. It is not as if, Obama were running, and from Bowie State’s stump speech, it appears that’s the plan.

As to the “No to Middle Class Tax Cuts”, one would either have to live in a vacuum or be one of those very dummied down University students in order not to understand that the Party of No, wanted to stay in session in order to protect the tax cuts, and were joined by 39 like minded Democrats, while the majority (last vote Nancy Pelosi) would rather go home and try to hold onto their Congressional Seats, allowing all tax cuts to expire. This selfish move not only insured an increase in payroll taxes come January 1st for all U.S. workers, but also put Business in a mood to freeze all hiring – indefinitely as they have no idea of what the bottom line will be.

Although not widely publicized in the national press, this “break” to go home and campaign that will cost the American worker dearly, is general knowledge among the working class who are discussing the ramifications and know exactly who was behind the “stall”. Therefore, while the Congressional Democrats are at home, attempting in most cases to avoid talking about the stand they took with Pelosi and Obama, Obama is on the University Trail talking about – Obama to dwindling crowds of students and “the general public”.

It is no wonder that, even in the bluest states, Republican candidates for the first time since, the 1930’s, are actually expecting to do more than run an opposition campaign that is “doomed to fail” as the beltway pundits predict “Safe Democrat”. These Republicans in Wisconsin, Colorado, California, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Connecticut now expect to win. Which begs the question, “who’s zooming who?” (Gotta love Aretha Franklin) - As Obama attempts to begin his 2012 campaign. He is either as dense as the students whom he hopes to rally, or so detached from reality that there is no “hope” – one almost feels sorry for the man who has taken Jimmy Carter’s place in the minds of most of the electorate as the most incompetent CEO in the history of the Presidency.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Hillary Clinton – No to Obama VP Rumors 2012 – 2012 Presidential Run Possible.

Recent musings by the Washington Post’s, Bob Woodward projected a possible switch of Vice-Presidents for Obama, from Biden to Hillary Clinton based on “"Some of Hillary Clinton's advisers see it as a real possibility in 2012,”..

Clinton did not take long to dispel that particular myth (see video below), denying any intent to run as Barack Obama’s Vice President in 2012. That does not mean, however, that Clinton will rule out a run for the Oval office in 2012. A recent Gallop poll shows Obama leading Clinton in a 2012 matchup by 52 to 37 % noting that polls taken this far out from an election may not be entirely accurate. For examples they cited early polling for 2008 showing Giuliani and McCain tied as well as polling showing Clinton clearly ahead of Obama. In the Clinton – Obama case, but for the Super delegates at the Democrat Convention, that poll would have been correct.

That said, this far out from a 2012 election, polling with a double digit deficit among Democrats or Republicans has little meaning – and circumstances now suggest that the Democrats could use some solid leadership, as well as a candidate that would appeal to more moderate to conservative independents and or Democrats who are not specifically “progressive”. Gallop goes on to point out that Obama has noted he may be a one-term president and given the current mood of the electorate, that is an increasing probability.

Therefore, who better than Clinton to fill the void and give the Democrat party some slight hope of retaining at least one branch of the Government in 2012?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Richard Neal (D-MA) Evasive on Debating Challenger, Tom Wesley – Is it Pelosi Style Dodge or Fear of Constituents!

Neal(D-MA2) and McGovern (D-MA3) shown on defense at Town Hall meeting in 2009 - photo Worcester Telegram

Congressman Richard Neal has been asked to debate his opponent, Republican Tom Wesley, in Town Hall Style Debates – the Congressman, has, to date studiously avoided debating in this format. There are two debates planned – one on the 15th of October broadcast from Springfield, MA and one in Milford, where only a portion of the eastern end of the Hampden 2nd will be represented. Both of these debates are in rather "safe" settings, and not entirely confirmed.

One can hardly blame Neal for avoiding town hall style meetings or debates – although he thought it was a good idea when blasting President George Bush’s Town Hall Meetings in 2005 (see video below) – Neal has since changed his mind. When holding a town hall style health care forum in August of 2009, with McGovern (D-MA) 3rd District, ” U.S. Reps. James P. McGovern and Richard E. Neal were heckled and booed after trying to rally support today for President Barack Obama's plan for a comprehensive national health insurance program.

The two Worcester-area Democratic lawmakers were shouted down several times by people attending a packed “town hall” meeting at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

UMass officials threatened several times to end the gathering because of the raucous behavior, which occurred despite a heavy police presence.”
(Worcester Telegram)

Perhaps Neal would debate Wesley in this style if he were given certain assurances, such as not having to answer any questions based on his vote on Health Care Reform, or any number of votes where this career politician has voted consistently with one political party. In other words, Neal cannot debate the issues, based on his stand on the issues and his fear that, even in Massachusetts, his stand might be unpopular (given his recent 2009traumatizing experience with actual constituents.)

Although Neal is campaigning harder than he had anticipated to try and maintain the Hampden 2nd Congressional seat, it appears to be an uphill battle, and in some cases, even unfair to the "low-profile" Neal. In recent conversations with constituents across the district over the past three days, the response is one of anti-incumbency. The most telling response, one woman (name held by request) who had actually received help from Neal’s office noted: “It’s sad, he helped me, but I really feel that he’s been there too long.” This long-time Democrat went on to note she would be voting for the Republican, Tom Wesley – a first in her 20 odd years of voting.

While researching roll call votes at The Library of Congress online, one finds Neal voting straight party line from 1999 forward. This last term has seen a lock-step party politician in Neal’s Yea’s or Ney’s - see roll call votes for the 111th Congress 1st session here and for the 111th second session here.

It is fear of running on one’s record in an environment which is not only anti-incumbent, but also one in which the voter, regardless of party, is seeking representation that is not afraid to cross party lines – more than say – once.

Therefore, those in the Hampden 2nd, both the east and west ends of the District are being treated to photo-opps of Neal, and articles written about how those darn Wesley supporters show up at Neal events to hold signs in support of their candidate. It is not that Wesley supporters actually “crash the party” – rather they keep a respectable distance. It is apparently too much for Neal, who would prefer to be isolated from the public – at least until after Nov. 2nd. On the following Wed. he is hoping to hop on the first train out of Massachusetts and head back to the “safety” of the Beltway where he can relax in a less hostile environment.

Again, one has to wonder if Neal will get his wish, from sources within a polling firm hired by the campaign, the road to Neal’s success is not certain. Neal will hold the majority of the Progressives in the district, and those Democrats who simply could not vote for a Republican under any circumstances, he will not hold the Republicans (who make a slight dent in this district), or the unenrolled – who are the majority of the voters in the Hampden 2nd.

Although Neal is reported to be running television ads somewhere in the district (note to Neal Campaign: those 3 AM time slots do not reach a large segment of the populace.), The local media is either unwilling (possible) or unable (likely) to pin Neal down on issues, making this race all but invisible in the press. Most important, the “regular” folk are aware that a race is taking place, and the district (which voted heavily for Scott Brown (above statewide averages), sees that same independent streak (pick a name out of the phone book would be better) unabated.

One has to wonder if it was worth it for Neal to vote with Nancy Pelosi on Congress taking a break so that members could go back to their districts to campaign, instead of voting on the Bush Tax Cuts, which places every single household in the district in peril of having to pay additional taxes beginning January 1. Local businesses, both small and large, have been left in limbo, as those tax cuts (see the Wealthy), apply to them as well – this will result in continued hiring freezes for the Hampden 2nd.

One would think Neal would “man-up”, take Wesley on in any debate forum, in order to showcase his rhetorical skills, and to take a stand on the issues, that although unpopular with the majority of his constituents, that he supported.

Neal has to understand that in order to keep his seat; he needs to convince those voters who, even with his help, would prefer to remove him. The only way to reach those voters and to give them a reason not to vote for Mr. Tom Wesley, of Hopedale, a businessman and veteran who has never held a public office, will be to debate Mr. Wesley and stop avoiding questions posed by certain local reporters.

To pretend this race is a "lock" for Neal is foolhardy, although factions within the Republican party may be putting their efforts into the Governors race, or the 10th, 4th and 5th Districts, it is reminiscent of the Brown campaign, where the ground game counted. Should Neal continue to duck and cover (1950's reference to hiding under ones desk in he event of nuclear war.) it may well be his undoing. This race will not be a landslide on either side, it will be tight and although at this point it is difficult to project (without the marginals from referenced pollsters - which, granted this is hearsay without the ability to print the source name, or the marginals - not yet delivered.) one would hazard to bet a 5 point deficit for an incumbent might be difficult to overcome this close to an election.

Richard Neal on Town Hall meetings.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Nancy Pelosi Dodges Opposition Debate again - Not in District enough to Debate 2010 Opponent John Dennis!

Local Press nationwide remains virtually silent on Congressional democrats facing competition.

From the Hill Blog: A chance meeting between Republican 2010 Congressional Challenger, John Dennis, and Deeply entrenched and controversial Democrat, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, resulted in two things: one Ms. Pelosi continues to avoid debating anyone who challengers her, and secondly a photo taken in the DC pub (here), in which the chance meeting took place.

John Dennis has a Libertarian Streak which appeals to voters that are disenchanted with Pelosi and although Dennis is getting some press where it counts (in the 8th district), it is the Speakers refusal to meet with any challenger in a debate format that is most telling.
Back in 2008, the speaker refused to debate any of her opponents, which included anti-war activist, Cindy Sheehan - Pelosi did consent to do a 30 minute interview locally, which, of course, featured only Pelosi.

One would think Ms. Pelosi’s remark to Mr. Dennis conceding that she was never in the district to debate (the latest excuse in this election), would be fodder for the home press to at the least ask why Pelosi, who specifically voted to recess Congress in order for the troops (Democrats in danger) go to their home districts and duke it out with the Republican Opposition. Think again – the press is silent 4 days hence and the news is no longer delivered via Pony Express. Dennis, who pundits have already consigned to an “uphill battle” status in his campaign to unseat Pelosi, is in better shape than Pelosi would care to admit.

In reviewing the returns from 2008, Pelosi, indeed won by a large margin, but, Ms. Sheehan did take 16.2% of the vote, Republican Dana Wash took 9%, and a Libertarian candidate 2% Therefore, the race, although considered by any measure a landslide – did indicate that there was trouble with the Pelosi base – those voters who traditional go left of left for candidates. What happens if a more credible opposition candidate comes forth? Ms. Pelosi will find out when voters go to the polls to choose between herself and John Dennis.

Ms. Pelosi’s refusal to debate candidates, and the virtual blackout by local news, leaves the opposition no option but to knock on doors, and chip away at those constituents that Pelosi relies on: Those that have been looking for a credible alternative to Pelosi. In San Francisco County, otherwise known as the 8th District, credibility is based on more one’s ability to be anti-war (John Dennis, check!) and gay-friendly (John Dennis, check!). In addition, Dennis has the business background, and the Libertarian streak that attracts the variety of demographics that make up the District. It is no wonder Pelosi is avoiding a debate with Dennis like the plague, and it was by design that she did not debate Ms. Sheehan, much for the same reason. Debates may not be the Speakers best arena, and a public display of the talent of Ms. Pelosi, would in any event, prove to be a tactical error on her part. Dennis can hold his own, and that is, of itself, a threat to Pelosi. That said, Ms. Pelosi’s refusal to debate, year after year, due to her busy schedule outside of the district, speaks volumes – and that message is being delivered to the voters via the Dennis Camp.

News on challengers to deeply entrenched Democrats is often difficult to find, no more so apparent, in the other left coast: Massachusetts, where news organizations are studiously avoiding mentioning the fact that any election may be taking place. For example in the Mass. 2nd district, one cannot find much information on career politician, Richard Neal (D), and his opponent, Tom Wesley, but one has to give Neal credit, at least he has agreed to one debate. Try this test: no matter what district one votes in, Google the news for opposition candidates to your congressional representative and see – no results!

By denying the fact that Democrats face opposition this year, in any given district, including the California 8th, the plan appears to be to stick ones head in the sand, and hope with the help of the local press, that November slips away unnoticed. Think again, Ms. Pelosi and any incumbent that is running for reelection in 2010 – the press now has an approval ranking (Gallup) about as dismal as your own – the people are aware that, yes indeed, you and your Congressional Delegation are up for reelection.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Chicago - Emmanuel Begins Mayoral Run – From Dead Fish Send-Off to Web Video Announcement the Race To Replace Daley is On.

Emmanuel Announces Mayoral Bid - image Washington Post

Ah - Chicago Politics! Rahm Emmanuel left the White House with a gift from the President that, from the Washington Post’s perspective, was reminiscent of Emmanuel’s management style – he received a “dead Asian Carp”. Apparently, if someone were to cross Emmanuel, they might find themselves in possession of a dead fish – the meaning of which is clear to anyone with any familiarity with American mobsters.

From Union Mobsters in Chicago - a threat to "sleep with the fishes - 1908

The receipt of a dead fish is an old mob style threat, basically meaning “you’ll be sleeping with the fishes”. Emmanuel must be well versed in Chicago History – the term shows up circa 1908, when the city was threatened by union anarchists known as the “Red Menace”(Worth the Fee from Chicago Tribune archives.) a sheriff going over police reports found this gem: “I am with the mob. I would like to go out right now with the mob behind me and kill every policeman on the street and then throw their bodies in the lake, like so many dead fish”. (The union mobster was referring to the uproar in Chicago over the assassinations of European Monarchy in Spain and Portugal.)

So much for the God Father reference.

The next step for Emmanuel was an internet announcement (shown below) of his intent to run for Mayor of Chicago. It opens with platitudes for the departing Mayor Daley, and goes on with a threat to those “Gang bangers” who run Chicago streets. Emmanuel intends to begin a city wide tour to listen to the concerns of the people. He appears comfortable and confident in his quest for the Windy City’s top job, and obviously the man is tough enough to take the reins from Daley. That said; there is a question of legality brought to bear of Emmanuel’s’ residency.

Over at the Chicago Sun Times, the question is raised about the legality of Emmanuel’s run due to a lack of residency. The City has a residency requirement that an individual must not only have an address but actually reside in the City. Rahm Emmanuel, does have an address, has voted absentee from Chicago, however, had rented out his home and the tenant refuses to break the lease. That said, one has to wonder who would have the chutzpah to refuse to leave the house of a man who would send one a “dead fish”? In all seriousness, the fact that the Emmanuel has a residence, rented or no, and votes in the City of Chicago (absentee or no), may weigh in his favor with the powers that be in Chicago. In addition, one would have to question why a man, who is savvy in the way of said City politics, would leave the White House to run for Mayor of Chicago if he were not confident that he would be on the ballot. Smart money in this case, would be on Rahm Emmanuel, regardless of the residency, or the fact that he is not an “Irish Catholic” or has competition from “political hot property – Tommy Dart” – he has the persona to run the City in the “old-fashioned Chicago style”.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Tom Wesley, Republican Candidate - MA Hampden 2nd District, Running Against Incumbent, Richard Neal (D) – Candidate Profile and Q & A – 2010 Mid-Term

On Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 voters will go to the polls across the United States and choose individuals to represent them in both State and Federal positions. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there are 10 U.S. Congressional Races; the outcome of each District race will define the make-up of the 112th Congress and the course of the nation. The Congress is especially important due to the fact that members draft legislation, and work in tandem with the U.S. Senate in order to make the laws which impact U.S. Citizens daily lives. The Congress also has the power over the governments’ purse strings, giving members of Congress the ability to fund programs and appropriate tax payers dollars in order to run the government. In other words, the individual members of Congress, collectively in one body, have more power than the U.S. President when it comes to the laws of our nation. Therefore, Decisions on which candidate to choose should be made on an individual basis, with time taken to learn about the candidates prior to casting a vote. To that end, this blog is presenting “Candidate Profiles”, which are in a Q&A format. Questions were only changed to reflect the candidate’s political party and current status (incumbent or challenger). The balance was not edited to reflect the views of this blog and remains unabridged. Hopefully, this will allow readers to get to know the candidate a bit more, both on a personal level as well as how they perceive the important issues facing the nation as well as the Congressional District.

Tom Wesley Candidate Profile

Tom Wesley, Candidate for U.S. Congress, MA 2nd District - image Wales GOP

Brief biography

I am a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy, received my BS degree and US Coast Guard license as a Third Mate of Vessels of Any Gross Tons, Upon Oceans. I was able to sail any ship, anywhere in the world. Instead, I went on active duty in the US Navy and earned my wings as a Naval Aviator. I flew helicopters in the Cold War during the Reagan years and served with distinction in operations in the Pacific, including operations involving search and salvage of the Korean Airline Flight 007 shoot down. I later served in the Pentagon with the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as part of a prestigious internship program. I was one of only two junior naval officers on the staff.

My business career began in aerospace and defense industries with large corporations in sales and marketing positions of progressive responsibility. These positions allowed me to expand my global travel credentials. I did venture into entrepreneurial pursuits involving aerospace exports and eventually into consumer imports. The venture ultimately failed due to market forces and noncollectable debt.

I returned to corporate life and ultimately got involved in the Life Science industry where I actually ran factories, built products in this country and developed an understanding of the global factors that create an environment ripe for outsourcing. I am currently Director of Strategic Planning and Corporate Sustainability for a large multi-national corporation in Milford, MA.

Always active in my community, I have been involved in my church, serving as moderator and chairman of various boards and committees, and in Boy Scouts, where I am the current Scoutmaster of my troop in Hopedale.

Q. As a conservative – can you define what you feel conservatism means to you?

A. American Conservatism is a byproduct of American individualism and American exceptionalism. Its roots derive from the Western entrepreneurial spirit of adventure, high risk and high reward. It is the essence of the American Dream where anything is possible for those who are committed to success.

Q. When did you first discover you were a conservative (Republican)?

A. Actually, I first voted for Jimmy Carter and then had the experience of serving under him as Commander-in-Chief. I became a conservative-minded person when Ronald Reagan became my Commander-in-Chief.

Q. Are you originally from Massachusetts? If so, where in Mass? If you lived elsewhere, why did you choose the 2nd district to make your home?

I was born in Brooklyn, NY, as a second-generation Polish immigrant. Uncle Sam made sure that I had lots of addresses during my career. I have lived in Florida, Maine, California, Hawaii and DC during my Navy years. Business took me to New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts. My wife and I enjoyed the atmosphere of the small town of Hopedale, its proximity to my workplace and the quality of the education available to my children.

Q. You’re married and have children, (grown?) – do you feel that the 2nd district is the best place to raise a family and why?

I have two grown daughters, 26 and 24, who have been unable to sustain employment in Massachusetts and are staking their claims out of state, and a 17 year old that is a senior in Hopedale HS. I do hope that we can restore the second district as a place where our children can settle down and raise their families.

Q. Why did you decide to run, what made you feel you wanted to give up your time to run for public office?

I took an oath of office, not once but twice, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. I have never been an elected official but have been a public servant all my life. I view this task as my patriotic duty to our generation and the next and for the unborn generations of Americans yet to come.

Q. As you are aware, Scott Brown did win the district, but lost Springfield and Northampton at the time. How do you feel you relate to both independents and democrats while still maintaining your conservative principles?

A. It is not possible to win every heart and mind or to win every vote. What I tell people who will not vote for me is that I will be their Congressman, too. We may not always agree on the issues but I will always tell you where I stand. And when it comes to services, all of my constituents will be treated with equality and respect.


Q. What do you feel are the three most important issues facing American’s today? List
1. Economy
2. Immigration
3. Healthcare Reform

Q. What do you feel are the three most important issues facing the 2nd district? List


The issues are the same as at the national level. They touch us in the pocketbook and in the heart. They have the potential to derail the American Dream and undermine the future of our children.

We must also ensure that our schools are producing quality graduates who are ready to work in a modern economy with the necessary skill sets that our innovative economy requires.

Q. Are there any other issues you feel are of import?
What are your personal solutions to solving the problems (choose two) that you feel are a priority for the 2nd district?

A. The economy must be our first priority. We must get people working once again. Jobs go offshore because of government greed in taxation. The US has the highest tax rate in the world. It forces companies to offshore havens. We must work towards halving that rate and look to level the playing field against unfair foreign competition. We must also seek to ensure that government regulation does not unnecessarily burden our businesses as they compete internationally.

The issue of immigration, both legal and illegal, must be addressed very quickly in the 112th Congress. Until we can stop the flow of people across our border who have no authority or right to be here, we cannot distinguish between those who mean us no harm from those who do. Those who do bring drugs, violence, human trafficking, and the threat of terrorism against our way of life. It is an imperative that we seal the border in order to control entry to this country. On the legal front, we must pursue a comprehensive overhaul of regulations and policies in order that those who come here on short term visas cannot overstay their welcome; those who wish to stay can be fairly evaluated; and, those who wish to enter are fairly treated.

Q. If you are elected to represent the Massachusetts 2nd Hampden Congressional District, what would you author as your first piece of legislation and why.

A.Unless the 111th Congress acts to rescind the upcoming tax hikes, this may be the first legislation required. Our economy is too fragile to absorb such an increase.

Q. Do you feel pork is important to the district? (If yes, or no, explain.)

A. Pork contains fat. We have enough worthy projects in this nation that we should not be measured by how many dollars one can bring back to the district to fund abstract ideas or white elephants. I think this district is capable of competing for resources on the merit of the project alone. And I would admonish my colleagues to do the same.

Q. I’m a 2nd district voter - you just knocked on my door – introduce yourself and tell me why you should get my vote.

A.Hello, my name is Tom Wesley, a Navy veteran, a first time candidate and career citizen, just like you. I am not running against the 22-year incumbent career politician, Richard Neal, as much as I am running for my vision of America in the 21st century. It is a vision that foresees an era of American leadership in political, economic and moral arenas. It is a vision that protects the American dream for you, your children and the unborn generations of Americans yet to come. I run because I am your neighbor: not because I live next door to you but because I value the things that you do. This is our Congress and we must fight to regain our voice in Washington. And this is our time. Too much is at stake for us not to take this election very seriously. I ask you for your vote so that we can begin the process of moving this country forward once again.

To learn more about Tom Wesley visit:

To learn more about Richard Neal (MA-D) visit

In summery, remember, every vote counts, therefore, get out and vote on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010. Many a race, even for Federal office, has been determined by a handful of votes. Often there are questions on the ballots which allow citizens to choose to fund a certain local project, or to actively participate in a state law, such as a reduction of the Massachusetts State income tax. Therefore, if one feels strongly about a particular issue or candidate the only way to positively effect change is to get out and vote, regardless of party. There is an old adage, and regardless of the outcome of any given race or ballot question, if one does not vote, one cannot complain.

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