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Response from WIBX 950AM

The following is the verbatim written response from Jeff Monaski of WIBX 950AM. This response is a followup to the phone conversation on 3/28/14.

I accept the explanation of Mr. Monaski that this was an unintentional error, and has occurred on this program in the past, on calls of various natures. I thank Mr. Monaski for contacting me swiftly, and verifying that this was not an act of bias or misrepresentation, and no edit occurred – live or in post-edit.

As stated in my open letter, and as I have always done in my work as a political commentator for nearly a decade, I am providing the verbatim response so that there is clarity for all who may be concerned.

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Mr. Vasquez,

It was nice speaking with you this morning and I wanted to follow up with an email to clear up any misunderstanding as it relates to your interview on the WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning program on WIBX 950 in Utica.

As I indicated on the phone with you, I absolutely disagree with your labeling of the interview and subsequent email as a misrepresentation of your comments/answers, and I do not believe there was any bias during the interview. It was also mentioned in your email to us that you felt the interview was edited:

…That recording makes it clear that my answers were edited, either live or in post-production, to limit the information that I believe is vital for voters and the general public in this election. It is an obvious and crude manipulation, the reason for which is unknown to me – nor that I care about….

I want to assure you that this is not the case with your interview, nor is it ever the case with our morning show or any local programming provided by WIBX. The audio found in ‘Keeler Show Notes’ (which can be found here: http://wibx950.com/keeler-in-the-morning-show-notes-for-thurs-march-27th/) is the full, exact and complete interview that aired LIVE when you joined us by phone on the morning of March 27, 2014.

There is one point in the interview where host Bill Keeler attempts to ask a question, and does so with the belief that you had completed your previous answer. In doing so, he lowers the ‘telephone’ line, which you are on. This is common and was not done to edit, mute or otherwise distort your answer. You did not hear his next question and continued to answer the previous one, as heard in the audio file you referenced. There was no fault of either party, and does sometimes happen with a fast paced, interview program.

We thank you for taking the time to join us on the show, and hope that you will consider doing so in the future to discuss your candidacy for New York’s 22nd Congressional District.

And, thank you for reaching out because this provided an opportunity to clear the air, if you will. I did not want you to think we edited or changed the content of your interview.

In the case that your supporters feel this is the case, I would appreciate you sharing this email – and your own feelings – to correct the record.

Thank you again

Jeff Monaski
WIBX Program Director

Media bias in the NY-22 mid-term elections

To the management of WIBX 950AM,

I am writing this letter in regard to my interview on 3/27/14 at 7:20am, on the Keeler in the Morning program on your station WIBX 950AM.

I am a candidate for the NY 22nd Congressional District, and as such I have had well over a dozen news media interviews, as well as speeches with questions & answers and private conversations with various political organizations where I have been grilled for literally hours on every aspect of the congressional race. In all cases I have never encountered the apparent bias that has occurred on this program.

While I cannot confirm how this program was heard live, I have listened to the interview posted on your website for the public. That recording makes it clear that my answers were edited, either live or in post-production, to limit the information that I believe is vital for voters and the general public in this election. It is an obvious and crude manipulation, the reason for which is unknown to me – nor that I care about.

WIBX 950AM, Keeler in the Morning

Keeler in the Morning


Let me be clear – the recording provided via your website active displays that my a portion of my answers were muted or otherwise cut off as I was speaking, the track overlaid with Mr. Keeler speaking, and then returns to me continuing to speak to the question asked. That is manipulation of the highest order and is beneath the quality of service I am sure you try to provide your audience.

I am not afraid of relevant questions asked of me. I am an advocate of the public making their own choice in this critical primary that will likely decide the congressional Representative for the NY-22. But I am livid when an interviewer unilaterally decides what content the public can or cannot receive in response to a question that is being asked of a candidate.

This action is a disservice to the public, and apparently may be a reflection of favoritism of Mr. Keeler for the incumbent. While I have no concern for what political preferences Mr. Keeler may have, it is a type of violation of the 1st Amendment to impose his preferences on the public and an insult to me as a candidate.

I will NOT accept another interview with Mr. Keeler, though I am open to interviews with any other member of your staff and organization. While it is your right to employ whomever you wish, it is my right to decline to support actions and/or individuals that I feel are deceptive and against the public good.

I hold no ill will to you or your radio station. I would ask that Mr. Keeler admit his actions, and publicly apologize for his apparent manipulation and deception against the public. Even if this action is taken, I will not interview with him again on any matter as I feel I cannot trust his character or intentions.

Sincerely

Michael Vasquez
Candidate for the NY 22nd Congressional District, 2014

** I have made this letter public as the actions taken directly affect the public, and they deserve to be aware of this. I will happily provide equal public notice of any response you request or provide to this letter. **

Sent to: Jeff Monaski, WIBX Program Director; Karen Carey, WIBX General Manager; TownSquare Media Corporate offices

Press Release: Assemblywoman Tenney enters NY-22 congressional race

For Immediate Release
From the campaign of Michael Vasquez for Congress – contact 6072429247 for comment or questions
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On 3/26/14 Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney announced that she officially has entered the race for the NY 22nd Congressional District. This now means that there are 4 potential candidates, in a race that has no Democrat challenger.

At this time there is no Democrat announced or seeking petitions to our knowledge. This elevates the June 24th primary vote to a de facto election – the winner of which will be the presumptive Representative in Congress for the district.

We feel that Assemblywoman Tenney joining the race only emphasizes the position that candidate Michael Vasquez has made since announcing his exploration committee in April 2013. The New York 22nd district is in need of an accountable voice in Congress that reflects the views of the public and is consistent in supporting the core values of constituents.

Candidate Vasquez stated,

“I count as a success the entrance of Assemblywoman Tenney into this race. The bar has been raised and the attention on this race, both across the State and nationally, has increased exponentially. Rep. Hanna can no longer try to avoid discussing the issues and flip-flopping on his positions.”

Michael Vasquez went on to state,

“I will evaluate this change in the political landscape, with a focus on what is the best opportunity for the people of the NY-22 to receive the leadership and strength of convictions that are currently absent our congressional seat, in my opinion. This has never been about ego, and my decisions going forward will be based solely on what is best for the nation and the people of the district.”

Michael Vasquez created an exploratory committee on a potential run for the NY 22nd Congressional seat in April 2013. November 18, 2013 Mr. Vasquez announced in Binghamton and Utica his intention to officially run for this elected office. Since that time he has spoke to news media (nationally and statewide) and the public on getting out the vote to improve the representation in Congress for the NY-22.

Press release – March 19, 2014 speaking event at Sons of Italy about NY Safe Act

As provided to news media on 3/10/14

For immediate release
Please contact 6072429247 – campaign of Michael Vasquez for Congress – for further comment or questions
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3/10/14 (Binghamton, NY)
We have confirmed that NY 22nd congressional candidate Michael Vasquez will be one of the speakers at the Register Voters Not Firearms – NY Safe Act protest event. This event is to be held at the Sons of Italy Hall, 126 O’Dell Ave., Endicott NY 13760. The event is sponsored by SCOPE, Inc.

The event is open to the public and the press, and will start at 7pm.

Vasquez political position cards

Political position cards for the Michael Vasquez for Congress campaign

Michael Vasquez will be one of 6 confirmed speakers at the event. Mr. Vasquez will be speaking on the importance of public opposition and voting to enact a repeal of this infringement on the 2nd Amendment, as well as his December 2012 prediction [http://www.mvass.com/2012/12/18/gun-restriction-legislation-does-it-really-help/].

Candidate Vasquez stated,

“It is vital for voters in New York to step up and let their voices be heard, in the Primaries and the General Election this year. The only way to combat the growing presence of Government interference in the lives and choices of the public is to remind the elected politicians that they are not nobles dictating to the public, but servants of the public as defined by our Constitution.”

Candidate Vasquez went on to state,

“I have firmly and consistently supported the 2nd Amendment over my years of political commentary, which I believe that NY Safe Act thoroughly violates. I thank SCOPE for the opportunity to join with what I believe are a majority of members of the NY-22, New Yorkers across the State, and Americans across the nation in opposing this violation of our Rights.”

Michael Vasquez has been a vocal opponent of gun restriction and ban legislation throughout his time as a political commentator, with articles and videos reaching back before 2008. Mr. Vasquez is the owner of M V Consulting, Inc with articles written under his legal alias “Michael Vass.”

SCOPE Inc, created in 1965, is a civil rights organization focused on the protection and preservation of the right of firearms ownership as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. They have rated Michael Vasquez A+ on 2nd Amendment issues.

NY Revolution, also speaking at the event, is a grass roots organization whose mission statement is the purpose of waking up Americans to the reality of our civil liberties.

Also speaking is 2nd Amendment Coalition of WNY, a Facebook organization out of Westerm NY, seeking to protect the Constitution.

Oath Keepers will be represented at the event, is a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, peace officers and first responders that seek to fulfill the oath mandated by Article VI of the Constitution they have taken.
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A flyer of the event can be seen here:
Sons of Italy – anti Safe Act event – Endicott, NY on 3/19/14 @ 7pm

The real barrier to immigration reform

In the March 2nd article, New York’s GOP House members patient on immigration reform – by Brian Tumulty, one of the greatest hurdles to immigration reform – and multiple other issues facing our nation – was revealed in a simple statement. The problem is not a question of amnesty for illegal aliens, though that is an important issue that must be dealt with, but an issue that is even bigger and more problematic. A lack of decisiveness and clarity.

In a nation of some 310 million people, that are from every corner of the world, every religion in the world, every anything in the world, there will always be disagreement whenever there is a choice to be made. Part of the job of our elected politicians is to represent and reflect the overall views and ideals of the constituents that elected them. It is also the obligation of the politicians, especially on the Federal level, to present the issues to the public – with their understanding of what is the best choices of action, so that the people can then offer the direction they believe is best for our nation. This is integral to our Government functioning.

This critical system of checks and balance, of the power of the people, fails as voter apathy grows. In the absence of the voice of the people, political parties and special interest groups assert more influence and politicians tend to act first and then dictate that decision to the public.

The flipside of this is in ways worse – the politician fails to take a position and fails to provide guidance to the constituents. The result is generally a last minute decision, based solely on the projected impact on the re-election benefits and detractions for that incumbent.

Both of these things remove the connection of Government and the people, increasing the voter apathy, and creating a self-fulfilling loop of poor leadership, distrust of the Government, and a nation that ultimately follows the wrong path.

Case in point is the abovementioned article. Of the 4 Republicans comments on the issue of immigration reform, only 1 lacked an actual position. Whether or not constituents agree with the positions of 3 of the Republican Representatives is up to them, and in having a position a discourse on what is the right decision for the nation can evolve. But when there is no position, there is no real discussion.

Or, taken from another viewpoint, the Representative without opinion on a critical and sensitive national issue that has been under debate for decades may well disregard the voice and opinion of his constituents to appease whatever special interest makes the best argument. This is NOT how our system is set up.

Rep. Richard Hanna said,

“I honestly haven’t thought about it, and it is a complicated issue. I am on the record multiple times to have immigration reform brought to the floor.”

What does that mean? How does that reflect, in any manner, the opinions and voice of ANY of the constituents in the NY 22nd Congressional District?

Some might be amazed that an incumbent, especially one seeking re-election, would admit they have no opinion on a hot-button, national issue. Some might be concerned that an incumbent, who has many constituents that will be directly affected by any reform, would fail to consider regularly the pros and cons of such a major issue. Others will reflect that such an answer is a perfect position for a politician seeking re-election – as it allows the incumbent to pivot to whatever answer will provide the most votes, and still vote in almost any manner when the time comes.

The NY-22, and the nation, deserve better from our elected Representatives. We deserve clear and concise answers, backed-up by whatever logic the politician has. With luck, given the nature of politicians these days, it should even be a position consistent with what the politician has stated in the past. With extreme luck, it will also be a position that the voters themselves hold.

My opponent may, or may not, be aware that most people I have spoken to in the NY-22 want an immigration reform that will provide farmers with a predictable and definitive workforce, shows compassion for the children of illegal aliens who have no choice in the actions of their parents, and yet holds consequences for willingly violating the law of the land.

A comprehensive immigration reform, for the voters of the NY 22nd Congressional District, must therefore impose a penalty for breaking the law, in addition to NOT providing amnesty, while improving the immigration system for the future.

I have stated before, I believe that any immigration reform should include a $1,000/year fine, require that all illegal aliens currently in the U.S. must register and be placed at the end of the waiting list to become citizens, and that they cannot have any felonies – before or during this process. Most importantly, any legislation should directly state that this act of forgoing further legal incarceration or deportation, under these terms, is a 1 time event and will not be repeated in the future – thus discouraging future illegal aliens from trying to wait out the public patience.

Not everyone will agree with this solution. But that is ok, as it creates an opportunity for debate and discussion among the public. A dialogue allows for the best compromise, legislation that encompasses a respect for the law, the compassion of the American people, and the concerns of business as well as illegal aliens seeking a better future for themselves and their families.

An answer that fails to take a position, whatever that position may be, is sure to be good for re-election bids, but miserably fail to represent even the most slim proportion of constituents.

The failure on immigration is not that there are political sides to the issue, or that there is disagreement on the best course forward. The failure is that too many politicians are jockeying for re-election and failing to take any side – negating the potential for compromise and devaluing the people being represented.

Political position cards

Starting March 4th, across New York State, candidates and incumbents will be going out and getting signatures to appear on the June 24th ballot. These signatures will set the tone of what will be discussed during the Primary, if anything at all. In many cases, like the NY-22, whomever wins the Primary will likely be the winner of the November election.

This is a big deal. The only way to improve Congress is by first discussing the issues that are on the minds of the public. That can only happen if there are challengers. Then the public can hear about the solutions to the problems we all feel every day. Considering how ineffective Congress has been, and how many members of Congress have flip-flop their positions and/or voted against the will of constituents, the Primary is the only real means to replace these would-be nobles.

Starting March 4th supporters, volunteers, and I will be going out and getting signatures to make sure the issues you care about are presented in the Primary – and you get an honest choice at the voting booth in June. The following political position cards will be carried by my supporters and volunteers – so you can know where I stand, and why I am running for the NY 22nd Congressional seat:

Vasquez political position cards

Political position cards for the Michael Vasquez for Congress campaign

M Vasquez political position cards

Political position cards for the Michael Vasquez for Congress campaign

Let’s fix Congress. Let’s get America back on the right track. You have already taken the first step reading this far. If you agree with my positions, and want to hear more – and believe that the public deserves to hear all options available – then contact us about signing a petition. Share this with friends, please.

Or, if you think the nation is doing just fine, do nothing and be guaranteed that you will get more of the same that we all agree isn’t working.

Sincerely

Michael Vasquez
Candidate for the NY 22nd Congressional District, 2014
info@ElectMichaelVasquez.com

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