Tag Archives: Eric Massa

Massa Getting Media Attention on Health Care

Not sure if this is really the kind of thing he wants, but you push a guy like Eric Massa around, you’re bound to get some feisty words.

Eric Massa calls Senator Grassley’s “Pull the plug on grandma” line “treason.” Talking Points Memo is picking up the story, and I suspect the nationals won’t be far behind on this one. For a bit of a backgrounder on where the tensions are coming from, check out Keyless Piano. Jon Greenbaum also comments at DFE here.

I think Massa’s always got a great way to creatively spin his position in the most just-short-of hyperbolic way. Perhaps he’s stepped over the line this time, or else misplaced his ire. It’s not Chuck Grassley but rather the Hitler effigy-carrying, gun-toting nutbags he’s playing to that are in danger of crossing the line into treason or worse.

It’s a shame that a substantive discussion of health care reform is not possible. It would be nice to think that fiscal conservatives could voice objections and help us trim the bill into a lean, mean reform bill. But if opponents of health care reform are going to allow themselves to be defined by the most extreme whackjobs in their midst, we’re not going to get anywhere. Just remember that when you hear them bitch about this bill forty years after its passage like they bitch about Social Security.

You have one chance to be a positive force in history. The Republicans are bound and determined to lose theirs.

The D&C Sez: Brutus is an Honerable Man

The D&C opinion page has decided to go Pollyanna with its descriptions of town hall meetings happening here and across the country. While insisting how important it is that politicians do more of these types of meetings, they describe the Eric Massa town hall as follows:

More than 500 people questioned Massa for two hours outside the Mendon Community Center last Thursday night. The meeting felt Lincoln-esque in its nature, with citizens gathered in a circle around Massa. Most behaved with respect, although a few people shouted now and then.

Wow. Sounds like a splendid ice cream social. But the story I’ve gotten from those who are there is that, to start, the crowd was at least three to four times the size of a normal crowd. The people running the meeting went the extra mile to accommodate those who showed up by holding the event outside. And then, the stories about euthanasia and forced abortions came spilling out of the crowd’s email in-boxes and into what normally would be considered rational company.

It is convenient for those who oppose health care reform – among whose numbers the D&C appears to be – to insist that politicians subject themselves to the attacks of the crazies. But until someone learns how to deal with astroturf uprisings and converse directly with their constituencies, these meetings are doing more harm than good for everybody involved. Which is a shame, because the town hall meetings are what politicians like Eric Massa have built their careers on.

Massa Introduces Credit Reform Bill

I suspect this is one piece of legislation which will die a swift and horrible death in the House of Representatives, but who knows? The mood of the country is on the right side of the credit reform issue right now – and we’re all looking for a way to penalize banks anyway – so maybe this thing has a shot if it gets done quickly. I wonder, though, if it might not have been wiser to have introduced as an amendment to another bill than as it’s own thing. The question is: who besides Massa is willing to publicly endorse this same bill?

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning Rep. Eric Massa (NY-29) introduced his first piece of legislation in Congress. The American Credit Card Reform Act has five key objectives designed to prevent predatory lending practices by the credit card industry:

  • Cap maximum credit card interest rates at 14%
  • Prohibit transfer fees
  • Prohibit predatory advertising on college campuses
  • Prohibit the changing of credit card terms if the consumer is in full compliance with the terms
  • Require due dates to be set at a minimum of 30 days from the date bills are sent

Blink

Jared Smith, Representative Eric Massa’s Communications Director, has sent out a press release announcing that Time Warner has abandoned their Internet Cap proposal. He thanks all the grass roots movers and shakers for their support, and that means you. From the statement:

“We’re delighted that commonsense prevailed,” said Rep. Eric Massa. “The people of Western New York spoke and I heard them loud and clear. Together we have won and I am glad that I was able to play a small part in bringing about this change. This is a true grassroots victory, but we will move forward with our legislation to ensure that any future plans to charge customers based on how much they download do not spring up anywhere else.”

Full text of all Massa press releases can always be found at Fighting29th.com.

Massa’s Fight Against the Cap Makes it to Ars Technica

Representative Eric Massa has ably taken up the cause of fighting against The Cap at Time Warner, proposing a law against such policies across the country. Now his fight has caught the attention of a solid gold biggie in the tech talk world, Ars Technica. Hopefully, this new exposure garners his cause – and that of this website – the attention of even more influential press and activists.

Rep. Massa Lays Out Stimulus Plans in NY-29

Massa’s got a plan for NY-29’s part of the stimulus package and so far, the construction side of things looks pretty good. He sent out a press release this morning outlining some of the plans, which include repairing the bridge in Perinton on Rt 31 along with a number of others in the various counties of NY-29.

I’d post the actual numbers, but I don’t feel like dealing with tables and anyway, I’m sure Rotten at the 29th will be happy to oblige us all. Hint, hint, there, Rotten. . .

But by county, Monroe County will be receiving $6.26m, Ontario County will be receiving $5.6m and Steuben County will be getting $7.6m. I think the story here is not so much the by-county breakdown, though, as the sheer cost of some of the projects in Steuben County.

There are actually only two projects that make up the entire $7.6m. One of those projects alone, labeled “I86/415 Painted Post,” costs a total of $6.6m including Stimulus money and other moneys combined. I’d be interested in hearing more about this project and what is entailed. 6 million dollars is not an outrageous amount of money for an infrastructure project by any means, but I wonder what is involved.

Late Update: Well, there you go. Rotten’s got all the press releases on his site in one convenient location. The release in question for this post is available for your perusal here.

Rep Massa Appoints a Recovery Director for His Office

This is kind of interesting: Eric Massa’s office just announced that he has appointed a member of his staff to be the point man for ensuring transparent spending of the stimulus package in the 26th (erm. That’s the 29th) district. I’m not entirely sure how much impact a junior representative can really have in how the money gets spent, but if he has people monitoring what does get spent in the district, that’s probably a helpful thing in terms of building trust in a district where trust of President Obama is likely relatively low.

“On Tuesday night, President Obama spoke extensively about accountability and transparency in government, and that is exactly why I have appointed Michael Heenan to serve as your District Recovery Director,” said Congressman Eric Massa. “The families of New York’s 29th District deserve transparency and accountability in their government, and by dedicating one of your Congressional staff members to work hand in hand with Governor Paterson’s office, we will achieve just that. Mr. Heenan has proven himself to me and he will prove himself to the families of Western New York.”

Now, the question is: will they be developing some method of reporting these stats online in some sort of database? It might seem redundant at first, but knowing the breakdown of monies spent in the district would be a boon to local reportage.

Rep Massa Appoints a Recovery Director for His Office

This is kind of interesting: Eric Massa’s office just announced that he has appointed a member of his staff to be the point man for ensuring transparent spending of the stimulus package in the 26th district. I’m not entirely sure how much impact a junior representative can really have in how the money gets spent, but if he has people monitoring what does get spent in the district, that’s probably a helpful thing in terms of building trust in a district where trust of President Obama is likely relatively low.

“On Tuesday night, President Obama spoke extensively about accountability and transparency in government, and that is exactly why I have appointed Michael Heenan to serve as your District Recovery Director,” said Congressman Eric Massa. “The families of New York’s 29th District deserve transparency and accountability in their government, and by dedicating one of your Congressional staff members to work hand in hand with Governor Paterson’s office, we will achieve just that. Mr. Heenan has proven himself to me and he will prove himself to the families of Western New York.”

Now, the question is: will they be developing some method of reporting these stats to the rest of us? It might seem redundant at first, but knowing the breakdown of monies spent in the district would be a boon to local reportage.

Massa vs. Kuhl: Massa’s Father Responds

Those of you who follow local politics closely have no doubt seen the controversy between Republican representative Randy Kuhl and Democratic challenger Eric Massa over Massa’s in-person challenge to a debate of last week.  To me, it all seems like pretty harmless stuff, until Kuhl decided to make parentage an issue for the campaign.

It seems Kuhl decided to make a passing reference to what he regarded as Massa’s rudeness and that it may have been as a result of “the luxury of having wonderful parents like I did who taught about parental respect.”

Well, it looks as though Eric Massa’s father has decided to personally respond to the attack on his parenting skills:

While you and Eric may not always see eye to eye, that doesn’t give you the right to attack my wife, myself, our faith and our values. While I was serving our Nation flying combat missions in Vietnam, my wife Mae had to raise our children by herself. I am proud of her, and I am proud of my children. We faced challenges and overcame adversity, but we held together as a family. I am saddened that you have decided to disrespect the sacrifices that Mae and I made for our family.

Try for a moment to block out the idea of what Randy Kuhl’s statement literally says: that Massa should show Kuhl “parental respect.”  Try to block out the idea of Kuhl as patrician.  What kind of politician makes an attack this personal over what was really just a small political stunt?  Based on what I know of Kuhl’s aversion to cameras, I’m guessing its a very insecure man for his position.

But perhaps Kuhl or his campaign has another opinion?  Full transcript after the fold:

Continue reading Massa vs. Kuhl: Massa’s Father Responds

Massa Jettison’s Spitzer Money / Jon Power’s Spitzer Reaction

Rochester Turning has filed a report from the latest Eric Massa press call. They’re reporting that Mr. Massa has decided to give the money he got from Spitzer away to charity rather than keeping it. Below is the relevant text of the post, with some minor formatting:

rochesterturning.com: turning the tide upstate

Q, Jill Terreri, D&C: Why were you compelled to donate the money he gave to you?

A: I want to sever all ties with Eliot Spitzer and myself. I am not going to return the money to him so he can continue using it for whatever purpose he is using his money. We donated the money to battered women in Steuben County to put it to some good use.

Mr. Massa is definitely one of those guys who would make this sort of decision on his own, purely on integrity. But does it concern him at all that the NRCC has already made calls for Democratic candidates to release Spitzer’s “dirty money?” This action may come across to voters as a capitulation to Republican pressure, though his opponent Randy Kuhl has thus far not made the same demands. And what about other candidates, are they likely to follow suit?  Jared Smith at Massa for Congress was good enough to pass along my questions.

The Massa camp reiterated Eric Massa’s “disgust” for Eliot Spitzer’s actions, and said he shared those feelings with all New Yorkers.  They further responded responded that, indeed, their decision to donate the money to The Net Domestic Abuse Program in Steuben County was Mr. Massa’s own decision and not based on any outside pressure. They pointed out that Randy Kuhl is among those Republican politicians who have not returned the money taken from the indicted Tom DeLay, so NRCC pressure does not seem to concern them much.  As for pressure on Democratic candidates, the Massa campaign responded that they can only speak for and act on their own behalf.

I also spoke with Jon Powers‘ campaign manager, John Gerken. He indicated that Mr. Powers supported calls for Spitzer to resign as the best way to resolve the issue for voters in the state. When I asked about Eric Massa’s decision to donate Spitzer’s money, Mr. Gerken said that Jon Powers has not accepted any money from Eliot Spitzer.

The Massa/Kuhl SCHIP Showdown

Eric Massa has been needling incumbent Randy Kuhl over that representative’s support of the president against the SCHIP bill, which would have expanded support of children’s health care under the Congressional plan.  Because the president vetoed the recent bill, and because Congress has been unable to muster a override in part because of representatives like Kuhl, the SCHIP program not only did not get expanded, but was actually defunded.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been receiving mailers from the Massa campaign wherein he’s challenged Kuhl to a debate, which now according to the most recent mailer, looks to be possibly happening in March sometime.  If it actually happens (I have my doubts), it should be an interesting exchange.  It will change nobody’s mind on much of anything, I don’t think, but it would be great to see a nice pre-election debate on the issue.