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NY-22 primary: a choice of jobs or welfare

Early in 2013, I asked if the people of NY-22 agreed with Rep. Richard Hanna in his claim that America needs foreigners to fill STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) jobs.

By September 2013 I was fighting hard against HR 2131 – the SKILLS Visa Act – that Rep. Hanna promotes, which will give 160,000 jobs to foreigners instead of Americans in STEM fields.

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)


I kept up the good fight on this issue. Then, in April 2014 – after I had left the race for Congress and some thought I no longer had a voice – Rep. Hanna finally responded about giving STEM Jobs to foreigners. His answer was that it was foreign students that would get the jobs, and to him that makes all the difference.

I have never seen the difference. What Rep. Hanna is promoting is no more and no less than this:

160,000 foreign students, studying in classes with American students next to them, will be given STEM jobs; and the Americans students will be on welfare or other government aide with student loans on their back, if Rep. Hanna gets his wish.

I don’t think that is why parents in the NY-22, or anywhere in America, struggle to pay bills to help their kids get to and graduate from college. I don’t think adding huge debts and living off of government hand-outs is why young adults go to college in America.

But, Rep. Hanna believes I don’t get it. He said as much on the radio when he thought I could not answer. He thought his flippant comments would just placate voters and he could vote as he wanted against their will.

Maybe he was counting on the fact that voters wouldn’t believe a black, middle class, small business owner over the word of a Congressman. Maybe he just though people wouldn’t believe that a Congressman would give American jobs to foreigners without reason.

Ok. I ask voters this, do you believe the studies by the Center for Immigration Studies, Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the RAND Corporation, the Urban Institute, and the National Research Council as well as a segment on PBS? The conclusion of all of these is unanimous – there is no shortage of STEM jobs.

In fact, this is what they had to say

“So if there is a superabundance of native and immigrant STEM workers and little wage growth, and STEM immigration already exceeds the absorption capacity of the STEM labor market, why are there calls to allow in even more? The answer, put simply, is greed and politics. – National Review Online, Steven Camarota, 5/20/14 [Emphasis added by me]

So once again I will ask as I have for more than a year, do you believe that America should give foreigners (students or otherwise) STEM jobs instead of our sons and daughters?

If you agree with Rep. Richard Hanna, and the greed and politics that Mr. Camarota believes legislation like HR 2131 promotes, then you should vote for that greed and politics over people in the NY-22 congressional primary.

But if you are like most Americans that I know, have spoken to, and worked with, then you agree that there is too much greed in politics. You agree that the hard work of American students, our sons and daughters, deserve more than being pushed aside, into welfare lines and a life of debt. You would agree that HR 2131, and politicians (like Rep. Richard Hanna) that are counting on you to not pay attention to the details, should not be on the floor of Congress.

If you agree that every American deserves the chance to compete for a job equally, and not as a second-class citizen, then I hope you will stand up on June 24th, and cast a vote for Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney.

It’s your choice, your option of welfare or a STEM job. Choose wisely.

Rep. Hanna asked NY-22 to look at his record, here is what I found…

On May 2, 2014, Rep. Richard Hanna asked Republican voters listening to WIBX to review his record and decide who to vote for in the June 24th NY Primary, which without a Democrat running is effectively the congressional election.

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

I took his advice, and this is what I found:

  1. Since 2010, Rep. Hanna has passed 2 commemorative coin Bills, and named a post office (from 2011 to present).

  2. Every other Bill that Rep. Hanna has created since 2011 is dead in the water with no significant support from Dems or Republicans – including the non-partisan Bill to give reservist who died serving our nation at war gravestones.

Going no further, that raises the question of just how effective Rep. Hanna is in Congress. But moving on… Rep. Hanna is also ambivalent, and flip-flops, on a lot of major issues.

According to the record, he has taken both sides on restricting the NSA. He has said he opposes abortion, but voted to support late-term abortions. He supports STEM jobs for Americans but is pushing to give 160,000 STEM jobs to foreign students instead of American students.

But what does Rep. Hanna do when it really matters?

  • With the debate over the 1st Amendment on the line in 2012, via the Stop Online Piracy Act, Rep. Hanna had no opinion beyond listening to the debate.
  • With Syria, as President Obama sought to grab greater power and push America into a unilateral war, Rep. Hanna had no opinion until the issue was over.
  • After 40 votes on Obamacare – that Rep. Hanna has called “ceremonial” (as seen on Youtube) – when it mattered in 2013, he voted with Democrats to fund Obamacare without condition.
      He has also attacked the alternatives provided by Republicans since 2011.
  • While claiming to be fiscally responsible, Rep. Hanna voted to cut military pensions and provide Democrats with unlimited debt ceiling increases in spending, January 2014.
  • With the revelation of the White House lying to the public on Benghazi, as proven by a recent email disclosed this week, Rep. Hanna – according to his statements live on-air on May 2nd – either has no idea what is going on, or just agrees with former Secretary Hillary Clinton.

    So with just a cursory view of Rep. Hanna’s record, I conclude:

    1. Rep. Hanna has justified his rating as the 3rd most Liberal Republican in Congress (he calls himself a moderate).

    2. His talk of the benefit to constituents from his support for Democrats and their issues does not exist.
    3. He actively supports issues that his constituents oppose.
    4. Rep. Hanna supports a “bandwagoning” approach to his work in Congress – he says and does almost nothing until he can safely jump on the winning side of an issue, regardless of constituent opinion.

    When I look at the record, I see a New York City Democrat on the Upstate NY Republican ballot. I see someone who is either ineffective in the job, or otherwise inconsiderate of representing the voters that elected him.

    Thus I support Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney. Because she is the only consistent, accountable, voice of voters in the NY 22nd Congressional race.

    But don’t take my word for it.

    Follow the request of Rep. Hanna and actually look at his record yourself. Then ask yourself, are these votes and public comments reflecting the core values of the Republican Party? Is this action, and inaction, representing your values in Congress?

    Then go vote in the NY 22nd congressional district primary for Congress on June 24th.

  • Rep. Richard Hanna is no champion of 1st Amendment

    On 4/30/14, Rep. Richard Hanna made an attempt to attack Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney over the 1st Amendment. The goal was to try to position Rep. Hanna as a champion of the Constitution – in other words he is trying to move to the Right to salvage votes. A pure re-election political move.

    Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

    Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)


    This is laughable when you consider that, by his own words, Rep. Hanna is a moderate. In fact, as he said to Time Magazine in 2010, “Most of them are” more Conservative than [Hanna]. The recent ranking of Hanna as the 3rd most Liberal Republican in Congress (2013) also fails to convey the image of a defender of the Constitution his campaign is trying desperately to re-imagine him as (in fact in 2011 National Journal rated Hanna less conservative than Dem Mike Acuri he replaced.

    This is further backed up by the fact that Hanna, after being elected to Congress on the support of Conservatives and the Tea Party in 2010, has rejected the Conservatives – recently calling them “extremists“. This is at the core of why Hanna was rejected by the NY Conservative Party in 2012, and incapable of getting their line on the ballot in 2014.

    Thus the posturing as a candidate with Conservative values is (in my opinion) just that, posturing.

    But it gets worse.

    Let’s look at the record – something that Rep. Hanna tries very hard not to refer to for himself. In this case the issue of Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a prime example. SOPA was an infringement on the 1st Amendment rights of every internet user. In 2012 there was a massive outcry against this Bill, and its counterpart in the Senate called PIPA. I wrote about that at the time (which has since been cited as part of a scholarly publication – Always Connected:The Power of Broadcasting and Social Media)

    “In other cases [internet censorship] is merely the attempt of Governments trying to isolate and remove thought it does not like.”

    So on this massive 1st Amendment issue, where did our johnnie-come-lately psuedo-Conservative (or just plain RINO if you prefer) Rep. Hanna stand? Well, that’s a good question as there is no real evidence he took any position on the issue.

    According to ProPublica Rep. Hanna had no position on the issue. Wikipedia fails to list his name as a supporter or opponent.

    In fact, at the time in 2012, the Hanna office had this to say to opponents of this free speech killing Bill (according to Aurburnpub.com)

    “Rep. Hanna is listening to the debate and appreciates the outpouring of constituent input. Rep. Hanna believes strongly in the importance of free speech and a vibrant Internet and will remain cautious when considering any attempts to limit either.”

    In effect, I believe, Rep. Hanna said he was sitting on the fence, waiting for the bandwagon of consensus to come by so he could jump on. Not exactly a champion of the Constitution or the 1st Amendment.

    There is an old saying, ‘People in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks.‘ For some politicians the saying is more along the lines of ‘I hope people pay attention to the rocks and not the baggage in the glass house.

    If Rep. Hanna wants to try to stand in front of the public and pound his chest, he should try hard to do so on an issue where he has actually taken a stand – if such an issue can be found. If Hanna wants to lure voters, he might also limit that search to issues and Bills where he stands with the public – which will be doubly hard based on his record that he hopes no one will look at.

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