Saturday, October 23, 2010

Moms For Tom (Wesley) Tara Kozub: From NOW Feminism to Conservative Feminism, one Woman’s Journey.

During the 2010 Mid-term elections, this blog happened upon a YouTube video in support of MA2 Congressional Candidate, Tom Wesley. The video Title “Moms for Tom Speak Up” caught my eye - one the one hand, I’m a mother, on the other, I like to express my opinion. The video cover depicts a "Rosie the Riverter", women who, during World War II, were asked to man the facotories to keep American going while the men went off to war. They did so with enthusiasm and for much less wage than their male counterparts. In addition, when the War ended, they were summarily dismissed and sent back to the kitchen. It was this "message" that got my attention.

Watching the video, one becomes intrigued with both the message and one Tara Kozub, who is the Mom speaking up. Always interested in the perception of the way women, individually, express themselves as feminist, I asked Ms. Kozub if she would give me some insight into her personal perspective of women’s role in society and feminism. What follows is Tara’s story.

“I became interested in politics while majoring in political science and journalism at Simmons College in the early nineties. I eventually switched from political science/journalism to political science/education and graduated from Simmons College in 1994. I went on to pursue a graduate degree in Moderate Special Needs Education from Simmons and received my MS.Ed. in 1996.

Back then, I was a self-described “Susan Faludi” feminist. Liberal professors, media, and my peers in Boston shaped my political worldview. But even as I embraced, in word and deed, the liberal feminist lie du jour, I felt an uncomfortable disconnect with its ideology.

Eventually I had that defining moment when I realized that what had been peddled to me under the banner of “freedom” was, actually, a kind of slavery. I saw liberal feminism for what it is, a movement rooted in selfishness, its core tenets - emotionalism, sensuality, self-gratification, and moral relativism. I wanted no part of it anymore, and so began my journey to conservatism and authentic feminism.

You asked what inspires me politically. My husband, children, and future grandchildren inspire me. As one who was once a product of liberal indoctrination via the media and education, I know firsthand the damage the liberal mindset inflicts on the body politic and on us as individuals, both morally and physically. Consequently, I have a moral imperative to help forge a different path for my own children and for the future of my country.

As a former teacher and special educator, the dumbed-down curriculum, cultivation of entitlement, and false bolstering of self-esteem in the classroom dismayed and disgusted me.

As a parent, I am deeply disturbed by the liberal, and downright Marxist, indoctrination of America’s children. Children are no longer taught to think critically; they are instead encouraged to embrace politically motivated and irrational theories such as Global Warming and revisionist history. Critical thinking and respect for authority has been replaced with nonsensical philosophies like the Responsive Classroom Method, which states, “The social curriculum is just as important as the academic curriculum”. Joseph Stalin said it best, “Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”

This Marxist formation has even made its way into children’s sports. In the interest of “fairness” scores are no longer kept and, at the end of season, everyone gets a trophy. Most parents are swimming upstream against a culture that is anti-life, anti-family, and anti-merit

So far, my children have been blessed with dedicated and wonderful teachers, but I am immensely disturbed by liberal MA curriculum framework that their teachers have been expected to follow in the classroom. Many times I have had to correct misleading and/or false information taught to my children.

Currently, I am home schooling my oldest son who is eleven years old and am a huge advocate for this movement. I’d love to someday home school all seven of my children. I think this national movement will be among those that save our Republic.

As a mom, my I believe we should be teaching our children a simple equation:

Dependence on God + A Spirit of Self-Reliance = Freedom
Dependence on Gov’t + A Spirit of Entitlement = Slavery

What inspired me to make the videos?

I’ve been active in the pro-life movement for many years, but there were two defining moments that led me to expand my activism and, ultimately, get involved in this election.

The first: Last year, I saw an able-bodied homeless man holding a sign that said, “I’d rather beg than steal!” This left an indelible impression on me because I understood it to be a foreboding example of things to come. This man was essentially saying, “Give it to me or I’m gonna take it!” The media, NEA, Congress, our President and his administration are continuously fanning the flames of entitlement, class-envy, and a desire for redistributive justice, and we are seeing the fruits of their efforts right here in Springfield. There is a revolutionary anti-capitalist, anti-merit mindset taking root, one reminiscent of Communist China. History is repeating itself, as I believe we are seeing a modern day Smashing of the Four Olds – Old Ideas, Old Culture, Old Customs, Old Habits - just as Chairman Mao called for during the Cultural Revolution.

The second: Passage of the health care law. That weekend last March, when the bill was voted on, time stood still in my house. I put all my efforts into calling every Congressman on my list who I thought could be persuaded or encouraged in a ‘no’ vote, including Congressman Bart Stupak. As a member of the As A Mom movement (that has nothing to do with Moms for Tom) I joined thousands of other moms in doing all we could to stop passage of that bill. Sunday night when the vote came down, I sat at my computer and cried, because I knew what that vote meant for my country. Congressman Richard Neal’s vote for the government takeover of health care galvanized me to action.

Fast forward to last spring. After two meetings with Tom Wesley, I became convinced that he is a man of honor and integrity. I would never volunteer for a candidate who is anything less than 100 percent pro-life. Tom Wesley is a truth seeker…his willingness to carefully examine the life issue is what ultimately convinced me that he was the candidate for me. He represents my values and principles in that he is a pro-life, pro-family, small-government, Constitutional conservative. I also admire his Mr. Smithesque character, he is a decent and honest citizen willing to go to Washington and truly work on behalf of the people.

Regarding Tom Wesley’s candidacy. As such, I think every one of us, especially moms, have an obligation to become citizen journalists in this regard. I am shy by nature, and much more comfortable behind a keyboard than behind a camera. Writing is my passion…not YouTube video making. But given the perilous times in which we find ourselves, it is time for all of us to step outside of our comfort zone and stand up and speak out on behalf of our children and our country. I think it is imperative that every person become the Paul Revere of her neighborhood/town/city and defend our Founding principles and unite behind candidates who exemplify this value system.

Thank you for spotlighting authentic feminism. Your website is like water in a desert to this conservative feminist.

Tara Kozub

In summary, Tara Kozub, like women everywhere, have left their comfort zones and the dogma of the NOW brand of feminism, and have become engaged in a fight for better education, fiscal responsibility and the rights of women to protect society and future generations. The video below is well done and worth watching.

Richard Neal (D-MA2), Up for Re-election in 2010, Catches Heat for HR 3424, Taxing Reinsurance Carriers from Florida Press!

Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA2) is currently involved in the first challenge to his Congressional “career” since 1988. Neal is facing Republican, Tom Wesley, an international businessman and veteran on November 2nd. Wesley, who has recently been endorsed by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Senator Scott Brown(R-MA), believes in fostering an atmosphere which is business friendly in order to keep and attract new business to both Massachusetts and the nation. Specifically, he opposes any tax increases which would prevent a business from being able to hire new employees.

With the U.S. having the highest corporate tax rate in the world (Tax Foundation) , and Massachusetts, separately taxing businesses, to the point where in the Massachusetts 2nd District, The City of Chicopee recently had to try to save 150 jobs at Calloway Golf. They Mayor, Michael Bissonette, offered to financially offset the tax corporations state and federal tax burden. Apparently between union demands and corporate tax rates, the company felt it would stand to survive in Mexico, where the tax rate is lower and there are no unions. Mayor Bissonette, even tried to work with Congressman Neal, in order to “hammer out a new type of taxation on locally made goods". Too Little to Late?

With the tax burdens of all businesses rising through taxes imposed by the House Ways and Means Committee, of which Neal is currently a member and hopes to become Chair, it is not unlikely that more jobs will be lost. More companies are likely to pull up stake across the Bay State and the nation, with Mr. Neal’s latest attempt at shaking down businesses - specifically Reinsurance Carriers.

According to the Florida Sun Sentinel Congressman’s Neal recently introduced HR 3424, which said bill, would tax the insurance that insurance companies carry to offset large claims. Re-insurance affects everyone - from homeowners to certain larger employers who self-fund their employee benefit packages and which are underwritten by reinsurance carriers. This tax, according the Sentinel article will make the availability of reinsurance in the State of Florida (and one can imagine any state, scarce, as companies decline to underwrite policies in the U.S. and or raise premiums,). This move will put an additional estimated burden of 800 million dollars on businesses and individuals in Florida alone.

Neal’s HR3424 is a short but telling read: when the nation’s unemployment is near 10%, the smart move, according to Neal, is to add additional taxes. This may be why a growing number of constituents are seeking new representation in the District. Although no formal polls have been taken, anonymous sources from inside the company hired to conduct a poll for the camping, suggest that Neal is in the fight of his life and may soon be retired.
As Tom Wesley states on his Issues page on his website,
“We need to reduce the tax and regulatory burdens on businesses, especially small businesses. Complicated tax credit formulas don't create jobs; increased demand does. We also need to lower corporate income taxes that compel corporations to export jobs to lower tax jurisdictions. We can bring jobs back to this country”

Wesley has also made that point in every debate (the one debate on Public Television held in the Western side of the District and a debate on Channel 22, WWLP, where Neal declined to attend, giving the floor to Tom Wesley.)

Perhaps Neal was busy working on a new tax bill that will break the bones of business while campaigning on the fact that the stimulus he supported, as well as the Health Care Reform Act, have not lost jobs (which is documented to be false) rather has created jobs (government employees) for the district.

Neal, is known outside of his MA2 District as Nancy Pelosi’s and Irelands Tax Man on the Hill “ with good reason. The aforementioned moniker with article is available here, and is a suggested read for anyone in the MA2 who is on the fence as to whom to vote for on Nov. 2nd.

On the one hand one has a deeply entrenched (i.e. experienced) politicians who, as Neal recently stated in the only television debate he chose to participate:

Neal knows about Medicare and Social Security (as he is at retirement age and also cut billions in Medicare benefits), with good reason).

Who has voted in the last two sessions of Congress with the Nancy Pelosi.

Who has not had to spend this much time in the district since he left, in the 1980’s. (due to Mr. Wesley’s increasingly encroaching campaign and the allegedly high polling number of constituents who are prepared to elect anyone other than said Neal).

Wesley, on the other hand, never having held an office, has the right experience for both the District, the Commonwealth and the nations needs at this point.

Rather the devil one knows than the Boy Scout (Wesley, no kidding) one doesn’t, won’t work in this election. The Wesley campaign has a grass roots organization that has been building to Scott Brown proportions within the past two weeks, and with street teams knocking at doors, district wide, the people will have a chance to view Mr. Wesley’s resume and make an informed decision. There has also been an increase in local press coverage, which had been missing for the greater part of the cycle. Although to be fair to the press, it is difficult to get both sides of a story, when one of the subjects (Neal) is consistently not available.

Lastly, Mr. Wesley might want to thank Mr. Neal for his radio campaign; Neal who is running an advertisement on local station mentions being reelected, but not an opponent. Within the past week, the search for who is running against Richard Neal has grown to 25% of this blogs daily unique visitor searches. (Traffic ranges between 400 to 800 unique visitors per day). With few exceptions, those visitors are form cities and towns in the district.

To summarize: Taking the backdoor approach to taxing ones health, auto, homeowner and life insurance policies (which will necessitate an increase), in this economic climate, makes one believe the years of experience do not necessarily translate into making the right decisions to bring and keep jobs in the district, which is vital at this point. This blog (Tina Hemond) endorses Tom Wesley for Congress because he is honest and forthright (Boyscout), and smart (MIT - among other notable degrees) - it's time to vote for real resume and some change beyond only "hope".

Friday, October 22, 2010

Breaking: Barney Frank, Up for Re-Election in 2010, Poll Shows Frank in a Very Tight Race – A Statistical Tie - Analysis

Barney Frank Gambles on Making it To the Finish Line

A poll released by Providence, Rhode Island’s WPRI appears, on the surface to give Barney Frank a 12% lead over his Democrat turned Republican challenger, Sean Bielat. However, that may not be the case, which is why Mr. Frank is going above and beyond in advertising throughout the district and Mr. Bielat is looking more confident and Congressional by the minute.

When one looks at the marginal’s of the race, posted here on WRPI’s website there are questions that come into play. For example: in a district where, in 2008, (MA Sec. of State) Frank won the district by the following vote count: Total votes cast in the 4th: 315,734, Frank took 203,032 votes, Earl Sholley (R) took, 75,571, Sue Allen (I) took 19,848, Other, received 337 and Refusing or Undecided cast blank ballots numbering: 16,946.

Taking a look at the breakdown of the district (MA Sec. of State) by party affiliation by County and then by city/town (with the entire City of Fall River included, as no breakdown of ward appeared to be available on the Secretary of State’s Website, one finds the following: In this district, the total registered voters by party affiliation in 2008: 455,915, Total Democrats: 178,856, Total Republicans: 48,139, Total Unenrolled: 225,743, Green and other Party affiliations: 514, and 709 respectively. Therefore, it would be safe to say that, even including half of Fall River that is not part of the 4th. The Unenrolleds lead in the District. 39% are Democrats, 10.5% Republican and 49.5% unenrolled.

Breakdown by County and City - Voter Affilaition District 4, click to enlarge

First, based on the aforementioned 2008 statistics and race outcome by statistic, not only did every registered Republican in the district, but independents as well, voted for the Republican candidate, Earl Sholley – this was an early indication that Frank has significant problems going into 2010.

Secondly, the Rhode Island Poll has a current makeup of 42% Democrats, 16% Republicans and 40.3% unrolled, which, would, unless there has been a surge towards the Democrats and Republicans in the Commonwealth, skew the poll decidedly in favor of the Democrat (specifically if based on the fact that the 6% of Republican’s polled would vote for Frank) and discounting the unenrolled vote by 9 points, with unenrolleds generally breaking for the conservative, one can, therefore, add an additional 6 points to Mr. Bielat (and that is conservative). With a 5 percent plus or minus margin of error, this poll conservatively (by way of numbers only) tweaked for actual district voter makeup and past trends (not including the fact that 56% of this, one of the most heavily Democrat districts in the state, voted for Scott Brown over Martha Coakley), one can bank on the fact that Mr. Bielat is in either a statistical tie and or leading Barney Frank by 5 points.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

David Axelrod on CNN on Deval Patrick – Lowering Expectations for the Massachusetts Governor

In a CNN video posted to Real Clear Politics David Axelrod, White House Advisor, and reported Obama’s campaign manager for reelection in 2012, reviewed the mid-term elections. The Headline ”Axelrod Suggests Dem Upset: "Stay Up For The Full Night" suggests, according to CNN that Axelrod appears somewhat misleading, as Axelrod rambles through questions posed by CNN’s John King noting: “as I said, I think you're going to see an -- an election where, you know, people win who perhaps you didn't expect to win, people lose who -- who, perhaps, you didn't expect to lose on -- on both sides.”

However, the interview begins with a discussion on which races Axelrod will be watching, and the East Coast is discussed first, specifically, Axelrod’s former client and alleged test for Obama’s 2008 victory,Deval Patrick. Paraphrased from the video below: “Deval, an old client of mine, spectacular person, Massachusetts has elected Republican governors for 16 years before he arrived, so that’s a competitive race.”…

After that quip, Axelrod goes into the discussion regarding surprises the night of the election and highlights the California Governor’s race as an example. Axelrod suggests that spending $200 million dollars might just clinch the deal for Democrat Jerry Brown against Meg Whitman. That’s apparently all he has right at the moment.

Meanwhile, back in the Bay State, the three man race for the Governor’s seat is in its final two weeks, with Democrat turned Independent, Tim Cahill going to the 10 point range, in the latest poll from Suffolk University. The poll released on October 14th and taken between the 10th and 12th of September, suggests that the electorate was far from a commitment on any candidate. On question 17: where do you stand on the race at this point, one finds Patrick at 44%, Baker at 37% and Cahill at 10% (with the balance either undecided, Green Party, etc.). On Question 18 however, when those leaner’s are asked who they would vote for if the election were held today? – There is a startling difference: Patrick receives 6%, Baker 12%, and Cahill 2%, with a whopping 49% refusing to answer or not sure. The results of the poll which were released were the combination of the two questions, gives Patrick a somewhat artificial edge. That said, with a pollster that repeatedly includes 8% of it staff (Suffolk University) in the mix, one has to ask, how accurate can this poll be? Consider it is doubtful that 8% of the Massachusetts electorate resides on the Suffolk campus. (See screen shot below).

Section of Marginal from Suffolk Poll showing larger percentage of undecideds only two weeks away - deduct 8 points for Suffolk only participants - click to enlarge

It is more than likely that internal polling on the Patrick team suggests the gig is up, which is why Axelrod was softening the “blow” so to speak when reviewing the Massachusetts Electorate. One can bet the House (literally) that he will also have his eyes on the Bay State’s 9 Congressional races, which, as of this point, don’t appear to be heading in a direction pleasing to Axelrod and Company. Axelrod, who is certain that Mitt Romney will run in 2012, could not have missed that Romney’s PAC recently endorsed certain Congressional Candidates, including Sean Bielat, running against Barney Frank and Tom Wesley, running against Richard Neal. The move on Romney's Part can be viewed in two ways:one, the man is a businessman first, and would not waste a dime, and two; it goes toward building political capital for the future.

As races either tighten up or completely blow out in normally “Blue States” such as Illinois and Massachusetts, one has to begin to realize that the electorate, in larger measures (according to a WSJ/NBC pollwould prefer to elect a candidate that has not held office before, that would, perhaps explain why seasoned politicians, such as Nancy Pelosi and Richard Neal, have ducked debates, and have become almost invisible in their home districts, even though they were responsible for taking a break to campaign and not voting on the extension of tax cuts. Axelrod is a smart man, and looks more pained than confident in this particular CNN clip.

Axelrod on CNN

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pelosi Weighs Not Running for Speakership in Next Session – Especially if not Re-elected.

Hearsay from the blog: The Hill, released the following yesterday:

"A House Democratic lawmaker said late last week that he'd heard Nancy Pelosi wouldn't seek another term as Speaker."

The writing, as they say, would be on the wall. Pelosi, who has lost steam during her own campaign for reelection in the 8th district, against Republican, John Dennis, has also lost support from her peers. Congressional Democrats are known to be running against the speaker in some cases, and certainly away from her in others. Any chance Ms. Pelosi has of retaining her seat of power within the Congress, has long since gone, and the fact that she might not be returning at all, given the climate in San Francisco at the moment, suggests that Ms. Pelosi, may have taken the wrong tactic in avoiding debating her opponent, Dennis.

Dennis, who has received an incredible outpouring of support from those sources most likely to back Pelosi, is telling. However, the race is still rated “Safe Democrat”, however, the data used to rate the race is based on 2008 statistics, and does not include the current opposition. The fact that many congressional districts across the country are not rated correctly, by Beltway pundits and think tanks, may explain why clearly competitive races in districts coast to coast, have gone largely ignored by the media, however, these races are not being ignored by potential voters. One can hazard to guess, if there was a chance that Pelosi were re-elected (and it appears very slim from the ground), then she be part of what is beginning to appear to the not so optimistic, a very small minority.

MA2 2010 Mid-Term Election Update: Tom Wesley (R), Running Against Richard Neal (D), Receives Romney PAC Endorsement

Tom Wesley, the Republican Candidate for U.S. Congress in the MA2 District, has received the endorsement of former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney’s, Free and Strong America PAC. Upon learning of this endorsement, Wesley issued this statement:

“I am grateful to Governor Romney and his Free and Strong America PAC for recognizing the importance of our grassroots-driven campaign. We need to control government spending and to reduce its size. We need to encourage a business climate that creates jobs and fosters entrepreneurship.”

“As the next Congressman from the 2nd District, I will work every day to accomplish these important goals,” Wesley said.

Wesley, who recently debated Richard Neal on WGBY, Public Television in Springfield, MA, has called for the incumbent to hold town-hall style debates- Neal, has to date, declined. WWLP, an NBC affiliate, invited both Neal and Wesley to debate the issues in a less scripted environment, again, Neal declined. The video of Wesley’s WWLP debate, sans Neal, can be viewed here, on WWLP is one of the dominant broadcast affiliates in the Springfield Market, and would have a larger share of viewership than, say, a public television station, which would have put Neal in front of more constituents.

Instead, the apparently sky, Congressman Neal, attended a fundraiser in Northampton at Smith’s College. The star at that event: Victoria Kennedy who rallied campus Democrats and local Democrat politicians,according to the Hampshire Gazette.

This is telling as Neal’s campaign appears to have focused on his base, instead of reaching out to a broader constituency, including the “unenrolleds”. When viewing the incumbents Face Book page and subsequent photographs of events(posted here on Facebook), one is left with the impression the Congressman is most comfortable in smaller controlled settings. Wesley has been reaching out to all possible voters in the district through his campaign’s ground game, which is essential in order to take one of the most Conservative leaning districts in the state. This is why the endorsement from Romney makes perfect sense.

Romney, who will, most likely, seek the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, has endorsed several candidates from the Bay State, including Gubernatorial Candidate, Charlie Baker and Congressional Candidate, Sean Bielat. For a full list of Massachusetts candidate endorsed by Romney’s PAC, visit

Endorsements by high-profile politicians, such as Romney and Senator Scott Brown, are often viewed by pundits as the future candidate sowing political capital by “investing” in candidates that will, in turn, back them in the future, both on the campaign trail and in public office. These endorsements, although politically partisan in nature, speak volume about the confidence in the individual candidates and their campaigns chances of besting the incumbent in the 2010 mid-terms.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Poll Watchers and the Military Ballots – Maintaining the Integrity of the Ballot Box in Massachusetts 2010 - Opinion

Acorn Voter Fraud Map - blog: ridgeline7

Living in Massachusetts, and one would suspect, any state of the union, every election cycle, there are charges of voter fraud, some of which turn out to be factual (as in the case of ACORN), and others are more of an ongoing joke (although no less true) where the dead vote, and cartoon characters are found attempting to cast their ballot outside of say Disney World. The end result is that citizen organizations have formed to “watch polls”.

If one is concerned that one political party or candidate and their campaign, are attempting to stuff the ballot box, then there is training available to become “poll watchers”. Why the need? Are not the polls guarded by local police? Not always. The case in Philadelphia, which was summarily dismissed by Attorney General Holder, had members of the Black Panther party clearly intimidating voters during the last election. ( Video Link here).

An organization in Massachusetts, Empower MA (, is holding training seminars on how to watch polls to ensure that voter fraud does not take place – Yes, in Massachusetts. A recently received mailer suggests that the institution in non-partisan, rather seeks to insure that newly elected officials have won the contest “fair and square”. An article in the Boston Globe, which appears to be a loose mélange of several different political happenings, Al Gore for example is the “headline act”) outlines the group and its plan to teach citizens how to spot voter fraud at the ballot box.

Is this specific to Massachusetts? Hardly, it spreads across the nation toCalifornia and has many a progressive group in an uproar, citing of course, voter intimidation by the “Tea Party”. Therefore, while one may have Acorn members watching Tea Party Members at polling stations, it servers the purpose of insuring that a vote in counted.

Unless of course, one is a member of the armed services, especially in Illinois, which state is tied for corruption in politics with Massachusetts (personal observation). Specifically the state of Illinois, where upwards to 2/3rd of all military ballots were not mailed in time, and there is a close battle for the Senate Seat previously held by Barack Obama. Other states have had “glitches” getting the military ballots out as well, including New York.
Citizens forming groups to protect the elections occurs when distrust of the political process, and where individuals (or groups) are known to have attempted to or achieved the goal of disrupting the political process (in the case of the military ballots, “human error” is in question). What is the worst thing that can possibly occur? Honest elections.

Therefore, with so many seats in the Congress up for grabs, and the power of one party about to be voted out of their control, this very lack of trust by citizen groups is telling. It goes to support the polls that show the nation’s growing distrust of the government and all things connected.

The Tea Party: Recently having attended a rally, those identifying themselves as Tea Party members in Massachusetts are affiliated with all parties, but the majority of those invested are the “unenrolled” or those who refuse to decline to be affiliated with any political party.

With nine Congressional Seats, as well as over a hundred state offices also on the ballot, it will be interesting to see the outcome – it is not that one party would win over the other, it is that the candidate that does win a particular state or federal seat, can be sure they won that seat with “fair and square”.

Perhaps, this development of those groups that watch the polls goes to the fact that the two-party system, which was feared by our founding fathers with good reason and foresight, does stir passions and yes, greed, and the need to “take a short-cut” to reach ones goals and protect, not the citizens, but the party makes it imperative that a third party rise, or even a fourth equitable party, that would allow for more constitutionally balanced elections. Utopian ideal perhaps, however, the option of a Democrat Party, a Republican Party, a Tea Party and a Progressive Democrat Party, would allow more choice, and insure a voice for every citizen.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Richard Neal (MA-2) (D) Calls in the Big Guns! – Victoria Kennedy Campaigns for Neal at Smith College Campus –Prefers Small Venue to Debate

Fromthe Gazette: Richard Neal got a little help from his friend, Victoria Kennedy, at a rally held Sunday afternoon to a room full of the party faithful, including local elected officials. Neal, did have the opportunity to Debate his opponent, Tom Wesley on WWLP, Channel 22 Springfield, but obviously had more important things to do that giving his constituents a chance to see how he differs with Mr. Wesley. The debate, however, took place without Congressman Neal. Neal, in speaking to the devoted audience, at Smith, a women’s college located in Northampton, MA, an exerpt follolws:

After first announcing that the Patriots had won in overtime, the widow of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy set about cheering for another team that she's a staunch supporter of - that of U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield.
"Are you going to send him back this Nov. 2? Absolutely," said Kennedy to cheers from about 70 or so Democratic faithful who attended a Neal rally at Union Station Restaurant. "I would go anywhere for Richie Neal."
It didn't take much to rouse those faithful. After all, it was a room where many among the crowd felt comfortable enough to address Neal as "Richie."
But Kennedy, a 56-year-old attorney, had many in the audience nodding their heads or smiling with her humor, her memories of the friendship between her late husband and Neal, and her straightforward reasoning as to why Neal deserves to be elected for a 12th term in Washington.
"The 2nd District is never left out or left behind," she said. "Richie Neal has never forgotten where he came from and why he was elected. He fights every single day for you."
Neal faces Republican challenger Tom Wesley, a former U.S. Navy pilot, for the state's 2nd Congressional District, a 41-community district he has represented since 1989.
Sunday's event drew several local representatives, including Northampton Mayor Clare Higgins, state Rep. Peter V. Kocot, D-Northampton, newly elected Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan, Chicopee Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette, Northampton City Council President David J. Narkewicz and Springfield City Council Vice President E. Henry Twiggs.
Politicians aside, the event drew many local Democratic supporters, enough that Higgins quipped during her opening remarks that, "elected officials don't outnumber" the residents in attendance.
Neal took the stage to the song "Simply the Best," by Tina Turner. When the music died down, he joked, "That was very good staff work."
Then he got down to business, calling the midterm elections a battle about the future that will be decided by who shows up to vote in little more than two weeks.
Neal, and later Kennedy, had a clear theme to their message, and they delivered it without mentioning Wesley by name. The message went something like this: Look to the future and let's move the country forward. The alternative is a step backward and a return to "the failed policies that got us into this mess in the first place," said Kennedy.
She said Neal is one of the best at helping the country move forward, and he might be tapped as the new chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. She recalled numerous times when the former Springfield mayor and her late husband would meet to discuss strategies and policies and how to make legislation happen.
"It's not easy work," she said.
Neal called out Republicans for their attempts to pin the nation's problems on President Obama, saying the notion is "preposterous." He noted that President Bush's tax cuts and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other initiatives, reversed a $5.7 trillion surplus when that administration took office in 2001.
"The people who set the fire are now the ones calling the fire department," Neal said.
(rest of article Here

Neal failed to mention that those expiring Bush Tax cuts would cost every working family in the district, up to $5,000 annually regardless of their income level. This will occur because the Congressman along with a majority of Democrat Incumbents preferred to cut out of Congress early to get back to their districts to campaign, instead of working on the tax package, leaving businesses in limbo, effectively continuing hiring freezes. That said Neal appears to feel more comfortable in a controlled and smaller venue setting that his opponent, Republican Tom Wesley. That was apparent in a recent debate shown on Channel 57, Springfield Public Television, where the two met in a tightly controlled environment; however, even then it was apparent that Neal appeared uncomfortable.

2010 Mid-Term - MA1 & MA2 Congressional Districts: Incumbents Richard Neal (D-MA2) and John Olver (D-MA1) Decline Debates – Debate Video and Analysis

Springfield, MA: On Sunday, October 16, WWLP, the Springfield, MA NBC affiliate held two debates, one for the MA1st and one for the MA2nd Congressional Districts. Both incumbents, Richard Neal (D) and John Olver (D) declined the invitation to meet their opponents, Tom Wesley(R) who is running for the MA2 Congressional District and Bill Gunn(R) and Michael Engle (I) who are running for the MA1 Congressional District in a Lincoln Douglas style debate. The videos from WWLP are shown below. Congressman, Richard Neal did accept one debate with opponent Tom Wesley, in a pre-tapped ½ hour moderated debate on WGBY, Public Television, podcasts of the debate here are not yet available; the last airing was yesterday morning at 10:30 am. WWLP, however, offers a larger share of the districts viewing audience, even though the debates are held during the afternoon (The affiliate makes all debates available on their website.)

Incumbents are declining to debate across the country, most notably, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, who is refusing the debate her opponent, John Dennis. Although the strategy to pretend one does not have competition for one’s Congressional seat, might appear to be a good idea, especially in MA and CA, where “reliable Democrats” are counted on to get out and vote, the issues facing the nation, high unemployment, specifically, do not allow that luxury this election cycle. The facts that races are rated safe Democrat by CQ Politics (Congressional Quarterly), Richard Neal is considered “Safe Democrat”, based on his 2008 election, where there race was not contested. In addition CQ factors in the results from the 2008 presidential election, in order to further emphasis their hypotheses The same is true of the MA1st and the CA8th. However, one has to recall that other elections have taken place (special elections) in MA where those statistics tell a different story. For example: Scott Brown (R), bested Martha Coakley (D) by up to 57% in most MA Congressional Districts, therefore the data is skewed to favor the incumbent.

One can check the rating of their respective representatives on an interactive map available here , however, Massachusetts Districts, will show, for the most part, the information available from 2008. These ratings are used by a variety of websites, to support the fact that the incumbents are likely to be reelected. Using historical data, is, normally speaking; a safe bet, however, to not acknowledge the current mood of the electorate or the fact that these Congressional Representatives have actual challengers is irresponsible to say the least.

That said, WWLP, in giving both Tom Wesley and Bill Gunn and Independent Candidate Engle an opportunity to debate (or in Tom Wesley’s case, answer the moderators questions, in some detail) allows those in the district and opportunity to learn more about each candidate, however, it does little good for the incumbent to appear either too arrogant or too busy, to take the time for their constituents. In addition, the incumbents do not have the ability to rebut any statements made, which appears to put the respective representatives at a clear disadvantage, as more of the electorate are engaged. It is worth watching both debates for the MA2 and MA1 shown below due to the variety of ideas on issues from unemployment, taxation and the nations deficit that are offered by these candidates.

Video's below courtesy of WWLP, local news/infocus the Debates Note: videos not available on WWLP's You tube channel.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Embattled House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi - In Denial Avoids the Inevitable – Losing Her House Seat in 2010

Nancy Pelosi has become the one woman in American that those vested in politics, at any level; love to hate – even those from her own party. Pelosi, who made history by becoming the first woman to hold the position of Speak of the House in 2006, has, in that short period of time, become a symbol for all the ills facing the Democrat Party and the nation as a whole. Her particular brand of tough talking, partisanship which had divided the Congress and now the nation, has finally played out in her own district, where she is being challenged, for the first time in her Congressional career, by a candidate that is not only competent but stands to best her in the November 2nd, 2010 mid-term elections.

Although her seat has been deemed “safe democrat” by CQ Politics, that website has not updated the election coverage since 2008, therefore, it does not acknowledge her 2010 Republican opponent, John Dennis who has been endorsed by individuals and groups within the 8th district one would normally find in Pelosi’s back pocket. Therefore, from a “think tank” in Washington, that either bases their assessments for individual House or Senate Seats on the 2008 presidential race, (if Obama won in any given State or District) or the historical trend of the district for the past 8 years, is akin to “spitting into the wind” in order to make a projection.

Is Nancy Pelosi’s job safe? The answer is hardly safe at all. If it were, indeed safe, without calculating what is taking place on the ground in the 8th district, one might ask why embattled House Democrats elsewhere are running campaigns that either distance themselves from the speaker, or outright campaign against her in order to appeal to their suspicious constituents (New York Times).

Many of the powerful House Democrats, with a few exceptions, have sat down and faced the “music” so to speak, by engaging in debates with their opponents. One has to give credit to the MA4 District’s, Barney Frank, who has debated his opponent, Republican Sean Beilat, on several occasions. Although no public polls have taken place in the 4th district, internal polls indicate that Congressman Frank will no longer be serving the constituents of the MA4 come November 3rd. (Technically, any defeated incumbents will serve in Congress, until January when the new members are installed.) Some are given partial credit, for debating their opponents in safe settings, (pre-taped debates) such as Ways and Means Committee member, Richard Neal (MA2), who recently spent a half hour with his Republican opponent, Tom Wesley. Massachusetts, not unlike California, has, for the past 10 years or more, trended heavily Democrat, however, going on voting trends in an atmosphere that demands change, is ridiculous. Very few of these types of races have received attention from National Pollsters, believing that trends will prevail, over the shift in national conscious, (or more likely, the costs associated with taking such a poll and believing, based on the assessments of CQ, and like websites or publications, it would be a waste of money.) Polls alone, however, will not decide a race, and many surprises may be in store on Nov. 2nd (or 3rd for some districts).

Surely Pelosi is an intelligent woman who knows what she faces in her own district, which is why she has refused to debate her opponent, John Dennis. She recently took the time out to meet with Microsoft, a video provided below by the Dennis campaign on You Tube, shows Polis in that meeting, and when queried about the option of debate, she opined (paraphrasing) “she did not have the time, as she was busy helping other members get elected.” Clearly, she must have been reading articles that, for weeks have shown that those members are trying to run as far away from her as possible, therefore, Ms. Pelosi, in fear of having to stand on her record, in fear of losing her position, has decided to take the low road, and simply wait out the election process without giving John Dennis or her constituents the time of day. Nancy should, in a phrase, “woman up” and meet Dennis in the debate arena.

There are two reasons for any incumbent to do so, even in this environment, and without the cash on hand to run ads against her opponent (Ms. Pelosi, according the FEC filings has $140,161 available to use for her campaign and $0 debt.) Source: Open Secrets. Ms. Pelosi would at least appear to be fighting for her district and her constituents, and have the ability to at the least, highlight any positives she may possess in the debate format. Secondly, by not debating John Dennis, who has a clear on-ground advantage, she appears to observers who do not believe “all is rosy" with the Speaker, to be either afraid of meeting Dennis one on one, or so out of touch with what is going on in her own district, that she sees no need (goes to arrogance) to debate, believing the outcome would be in her favor. In this particular race, one need only Google John Dennis or Nancy Pelosi under the news heading and find local articles to tell the tale of what is happening in the 8th district. Parsing not only the headlines, but reading the comments as well, to understand that this race will boil down to turn-out, true, but also the number of Democrats and Independents in the District who are now looking for a change in their government.

The economy will drive this election, even in the 8th California district, as well as traditionally “safe democrat” seats nationwide. Therefore, for those Congressional Representatives who feel the need to avoid debates and the fact that there is a race at all (by working hand in hand with editorial boards at local newspapers) remember: at least Congressman Frank has decided to go down swinging which, in the end, will go towards his credit historically.

Video Nancy Pelsoi, on Why she Won’t Debate John Dennis, her Republican Opponnet

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