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Our future, our voices, and your vote

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There is nothing quite like political predictions. Whether it’s Sarah Palin talking about Russia in 2008, or numerous Republicans and pundits talking about the retreat from Iraq in 2011, or even the polling for former Congressman Eric Cantor political predictions are always a matter of intense debate and attention. With the Republican Primary for the New York 22nd congressional district less than a week away, it seemed a good time to review the predictions made in this race.

One of the first things that should be noted is money. The first barrier to the race, mentioned in every meeting and many public speaking engagements that I had from April 2013 until I voluntarily exited the race to support Claudia Tenney. As many have heard me say, my predictions were:

  • 1) Rep. Hanna will spend 10-1 for his effort to get re-elected
  • 2) The race can be won by a challenger (implying myself at the time, and no different now) with $150,000

    Given those predictions, the reality is amazing on target.

    Rep. Hanna’s campaign, with the major help of his self-funding and a pro-gay marriage PAC, is spending $1 million on his re-election effort compared to the $111,000 of Claudia Tenney. With these figures, some estimates are calling the race even.

    The reason why I made those predictions, and why we are seeing them come true, is because Rep. Hanna is not (and I believe cannot) running on his record. He is refusing to debate because of what his voting record proves. He is avoiding presenting his record in his commercials (you can see that in my response to the Hanna’s Diner commercial – http://youtu.be/HANFCkolj5E). The public, and Republican voters, are noticing.

    Thus we have a race where Rep. Hanna has taken to mocking opponents, flippant disparaging remarks on his lack of response to challenges, and a general disregard for the will of the people who signaled their intense desire for comparison and choice when petitions were signed.

    In addition, predictions were made that this race would get national attention. As news media are now reporting, that is exactly the case.

    This race, in 2013, was considered a given for the incumbent. It was not seen as eventful. The expectation was a simple win for the incumbent based on the mere fact that he held a title and is independently wealthy. Neither of these reasons are credible reasons for anyone to be elected, let alone re-elected.

    Since that time, Rep. Hanna has revealed via his avoidance of his record, his votes for funding Obamacare, his push for immigration reform at the cost of 160,000 American jobs a year, his votes for late-term abortion, his votes to increase taxes and unlimited debt ceiling increases until 2015, Rep. Hanna has proven his liberal leaning and justified his rating as the 3rd most liberal Republican in Congress.

    This has lead to the interest of conservative groups, like an assortment of Tea Party organizations and the New York Conservative Party, the Gun Owners of America, Oathkeepers, NY Revolution and 2nd Amendment organizations, ShePAC, Fox News and more.

    That say nothing of individual conservatives like Laura Ingraham, Betsy McCaughey, Wendy Long, Carl Paladino and may others (of course including myself).

    At the same time, unexpectedly, Eric Cantor – another proponent of immigration reform like HR 2131 – lost his re-election bid to a massively outspent far more conservative opponent.

    National attention is firmly focused on this race.

    Lastly I predicted that Rep. Hanna is weak, and can be beaten.

    As I mentioned before, the Hanna campaign won’t discuss the record of a 2-term congressman in public. They won’t allow a debate on the issues and the voting record. In politics there is no greater signal of weakness.
    Which brings me to defeating Rep. Hanna. It is a reality ready to happen, needing only the active participation of Republican voters.

    There are some 160,000 Republicans in the New York 22nd District. In the past a mere fraction, less than 8000 votes, decided who would represent us in Congress. Apathy, lack of choice, the absence of a true conservative, accountable to the will of the people kept many away from voting.

    But on June 24th it can be different. There is a true choice. We have the 3rd most Conservative Assemblymember in NY State running. We have a mother of a Marine Officer, a small businesswoman, and a dedicated servant of the people available and willing to champion our causes on the floor of Congress.

    We just need to go and vote to put her there.

    I ask you, and the Republicans you know, to take a stroll on June 24th to your polling locations and take 5 minutes to vote. Make your voice heard across New York State and on the floor of Congress. Let’s, together, make a statement that money cannot buy an election, debates on the issues matter, and that re-election is a gift given only to those that have earned the privilege.

    Join me on June 24th, as we vote to elect Claudia Tenney and fulfill my final prediction.

    Sincerely

    Michael Vasquez
    Former NY 22nd Congressional District candidate
    Supporter of Claudia Tenney

  • Rep. Richard Hanna attacks with “bait & switch” tactic to avoid voters

    What do you do if you are an incumbent with a record of attacking your own Party, voting against the wishes of constituents, and supporting job creation for foreigners over Americans? In the case of Rep. Richard Hanna, you avoid any public instance of defending your record and instead try to distract voters. A classic bait and switch manuever, one of the very worst of immoral sales tactics.

    To be clear, on 4/21/14, WNBF News Radio and Time Warner Cable invited Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney and the incumbent to debate the issues. This is a critical offer as there is no Democrat in the race and whomever wins the NY Primary on June 24th will defacto be the next Representative in Congress for the NY 22nd Congressional District.

    Assemblywoman Tenney accepted. Rep. Richard Hanna made no comment. Until April 24th. That when he went on the offensive in an offense to voters.

    Rep. Hanna chose to try to steer the discussion away from the issue at hand, which is his voting record and positions he has taken. Instead he has attacked Claudia Tenney about doing her job as an Assemblywoman. He has tried to shift the race for the NY-22 to a race for the 101st Assembly seat – which is not even in question at this time.

    Hidden deep in the attack on Tenney was the following response about the actual issue, the debates, “A Hanna spokesperson says the Congressman has neither officially accepted nor refused the offer to debate.”

    Neither refused or accepted? Which is it? Why is there such ambivalence?

    Still, the response is not shocking. Rep. Hanna took the same stance in the summer of 2014, while the nation and the world took a position on the unilateral actions of President Obama and Syria. At the time I stated,

    “[Hanna] is 1 of 2 Republicans, and 1 of 16 members of Congress representing New York State, that have clearly stated they have no position on the issue at this time.

    When the use-of-force resolution is finalized, I will review it closely to determine whether or not actions enabled by it advance vital interests of the United States and are in the best interest of upstate New Yorkers” – Rep. Richard Hanna 9/4/13

    …@electvasquezny – “Leadership is not about winning every battle or being right in every debate, its about decisiveness in the face of ambiguity.”

    Of course Rep. Hanna learned from his honest portrayal of his bandwagoning attempt in 2013. Thus we see that in 2014, rather than take a stand so that voters can actually evaluate him, he has chosen to deflect away from the issue. He is actively hiding from the voters – a sure sign in my mind that he is aware that his record will cost him the election if anyone looks at it.

    Once again Rep. Hanna assumes that the public is too dumb to see his actions for what they are, and he hopes (I believe) that they are too apathetic to take action in the Primary in June. I believe he is wrong on both counts.

    The NY-22, and America as a whole, deserve to have politicians that are willing to stand up and be accountable. Congress is rife with manipulators that are only successful at maintaining their own positions of power, and the approval rating reflects this. It is well beyond time that we see principled, consistent, accountable representation on the floor of Congress.

    The fact that Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney has a record that confirms this is a threat to the re-election of Rep. Hanna, and thus – without a record of consistency or even publicly supported positions – the Hanna campaign is resorting to dirty tricks and mudslinging.

    I think we can clearly see why he won’t take a position on a debate.

    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.

    ************************************************************************************************************

    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

    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.

    Is your Representative prepared to help you in 2014?

    The political landscape for 2014 is beginning to take shape, and much like the reality of the biggest lie of 2013 you can keep your doctor it is not what many are expecting. As is being reported, and discussed, at Politico and Wall Street Journal (among other news sources) President Obama and the far-left (Progressives) of the Democrat Party are preparing to push the nation to the left. This is an effort to prepare for 2016, while the general public is not paying attention to politics even for 2014 yet. Is your Representative in Congress ready? Will they do anything to protect your interests?

    Politico reports that,

    “He’s [President Obama] connecting to progressive populism with an aggressive, spending-oriented, activist government approach to the economy personified by Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio.”

    Before I go further, what does that mean? In real world terms, the President is going to promote increased spending on entitlements and issues that are backed by the far-left (like abortion, amnesty for illegal aliens, gun restrictions, ect). Spending that will exceed the current budget deal passed in the House of Representatives (Rep. Richard Hanna voted for this) that removes the cap on spending imposed by the Sequester – which was enacted because Congress spends money like a crack addict smokes crack.

    The justification for taking the stereotype of Democrat deficit spending and pushing it to warp drive is the election of Bill De Blasio in NYC and Sen Elizabeth Warren in MA. Which the Wall Street Journal points out,

    “While New Yorkers think of their city as the center of the universe, the last time its mayor won a race for governor or senator—let alone president—was 1869. For the past 144 years, what has happened in the Big Apple stayed in the Big Apple. Some liberals believe Sen. Warren would be the Democratic Party’s strongest presidential candidate in 2016. But what works in midnight-blue Massachusetts—a state that has had a Republican senator for a total of 152 weeks since 1979—hasn’t sold on a national level since 1960.”

    Still, the spending will be framed in the most eloquent and popular way possible. We are already seeing it. Democrats have won a major hurdle in having the restrictions of the Sequester lifted off their backs – with a 2 year increase in the budget (and deficit) to go with it. The rally cry for an increase in the minimum wage – which does not create jobs but creates pressure against new jobs – is already being heard. But expect the 2014 State of the Union to really set the tone of spending without limits, or money.

    Why is this going to be done? To maintain the vital block of votes that brought victory to President Obama 2x – young people, African-Americans, Latinos, single women and immigrants – so that Democrats can maintain (or they hope to grow) their political power. This isn’t about helping the public as much as it is about a powerbase for 2016.

    The sweetner will be Social Security. The plan is to propose an increase in benefits – though how to pay for it is vague. The closest thing to a plan is from Sen. Warren who wants to increase taxes on the youth and businesses – but that isn’t being discussed in the rally speeches. Kind of like how the millions of cancellations that Dems knew about (as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand casually noted on ABC News) for years and failed to explain to constituents.

    But as the President prepares to launch his spending spree with a credit card paid for by our grandchildren, really keep in mind his justification (the one he will give the public, not the preparation for 2014 and 2016 elections),

    “I am convinced that the decisions we make on these issues over the next few years will determine whether or not our children will grow up in an America where opportunity is real.”

    I do believe that these decision will affect us, our kids, and our grandchildren – just for starters. Depending on interest rates, and how long we can kick the national debt down the road (at least until another downgrade of our national credit rating), the impact only gets worse given time.

    But as to my original question, do you have a Representative that will ride the far-left wave, or sit on a fence waiting to see what way will lead to re-election, or someone that will vocally stand up and fight for the common sense the public has but Congress and the White House lost decades ago?

    For the NY-22, that is a real question. Our current Representative, Richard Hanna, has a history of flip-flops going back to at least 2010 according to Time Magazine. His penchant for symbolic votes does not help raise assurance of where he stands. His drive to increase H1B Visas, and give 160,000 jobs to immigrants in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields is also a problem. Don’t take my word for it, you can review his voting record (the parts he has not tried to removed from being seen by the public) and what little he has publicly said, for yourself.

    What America, and the New York 22nd Congressional District, needs are people that understand that the consequences of what Congress and the White House does or does not do has a real and direct impact on constituents. We need someone that is accountable, and reliable. Someone that we clearly know where they stand and what they will do for us.

    The other option, is what we have seen so far. We can watch as the approval rate for Congress goes even lower than 9%. We can watch as the next scandal becomes the White House and Dems admitting they knew taxes would go higher to cover entitlement spending with money from the deficit. We can watch as the promise of jobs being priority #1 is once again stated, only to be ignored and ineffective.

    I offer myself as that Representative for the NY-22. My positions are clear, and have been for the years that I have written political commentary and paid attention to what Congress and the White house has been doing. Like the constituents of the 22nd Congressional District, I know what it is like to work hard, pay bills, have a mortgage, and have to pay ever higher taxes and not see any results for the money that has been taken.

    Visit www.MichaelVasquezforCongress.com. Come out and hear me speak. Ask me questions. Look at the voting record of the incumbent. Then do what you think is best. But don’t forget, the plan for 2014 and 2016 is already being made. Your vote matters.

    Are all Republicans the same?

    If you want an honest answer to the headline, read all of this.

    In the news item done by YNN on December 2, 2013, the candidates for the New York 22nd Congressional District (including myself) were painted with a broad and eerily similar brush. The depiction was one that seemed to imply that there is no difference between Rep. Richard Hanna, myself, or any other Republican. Which is silly.

    The implication, which may have been unintentional, is like saying that there is no difference between Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. Rand Paul and President G. W. Bush. Or put another way, President Jimmy Carter, President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama and President John F. Kennedy were the exact same Democrat. It’s preposterous at every level.

    But the brush can be painted on any number of candidates and incumbents of the same political party. Many of the same beliefs will of course be a common thread. Many of the same issues will of course be part of the platform (a question that I can directly state was never asked of me in the YNN interview). The question for voters is not what is the same, but what is the difference – unless there is a purpose to blur what is being presented. But that is a question for another day, and very unclear.

    What makes a candidate different is their experience, their convictions, and what they believe is their motivation for elected office, in my opinion.

    Representative Richard Hanna presents himself as a staunch Conservative and Republican. That’s what he ran on in 2010, and helped him get elected in a wave of Tea Party support and Conservatism. But he himself has said, in 2010 to Time Magazine and in other media since (National journal rankings for one), that he is not a Conservative but a Moderate.

    Rep. Hanna is firm in his opposition of Obamacare, except he has clearly stated in a little viewed interview on Youtube (Minute 1:10 – 1:58) that his votes are merely symbolic. Worse yet, when faced with standing by the conviction of his votes Rep. Hanna folded,

    Hanna was one of two Republicans who voted against delaying Obamacare…”

    “Only two Republicans, both from New York — Reps. Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna —broke ranks with their party to oppose the one-year delay in Obamacare. Both had backed the previous government funding bill defunding Obamacare entirely.”

    Something numerous news media noted immediately.

    Rep. Hanna believes, apparently, that drones are essential to domestic security. Yet he is willing to invite abuse by not seeking to restrict the way they will be used, which is essentially selling the 4th Amendment for a literal handful of jobs as I see it.

    Rep. Hanna is more than willing to sit on the sidelines, without opinion in the face of clearly expressed opinion from constituents, the nation, and in some cases the globe – as he did as President Obama sought to take unilateral action in Syria (against the will of the public, much of Congress, and even international allies).

    This is the Republican that I am running against in the 2014 New York election. And there is very little that is similar.

    I am a fiscal Conservative because I believe that a Government should be, at the least, as careful with its spending as the people it represents. I am Conservative because I believe that the Constitution and Amendments are not just a list of ideals, but guidelines to preserve freedoms in a way that no other nation as done. I am a Republican because I believe that the ingenuity and innovation of individuals always surpasses that of Government, and advances the world. I believe these things strongly enough to have served my country in military service, and to speak out in commentary for the world to see and discuss.

    I oppose Obamacare, not because of symbolism meant to build up political credibility or a vague love of the healthcare system that proceeded it. I oppose the fact that is established a power of Government over the people – which I see as a long-term danger to the nation. I oppose the ACA because if fails in its primary objective to lower healthcare costs. I object to the Health Care Reform because the unintended (and apparently well known among Democrats) consequences are numerous, and to be expected from a partisan law that barely had the ink dry before it was passed. And I’ve been saying this since 2009, publicly. Just do a Google search.

    I fear abuses of power, like drones without laws limiting use against average citizens, or invasion of privacy by the NSA, or even sidestepping Congress by a President that believes Executive Orders are a perfect means to ram his ideology down the throats of Americans that disagree. I support Bills like the Amash Amendment (that Rep. Hanna voted against) that the public agrees with and protects our Rights. I stand, vocally, in opposition to those that would sell our Rights (on the cheap no less) and our citizenship piece by piece under a banner of universal benefits that never come to pass and are never needed anyway.

    I defend the freedoms of Americans to bear arms, and speak freely – even if I disagree with what is being said and even when the criminal and insane misuse such Rights. To limit what is said is to cage a mind. To weaken protection (even from the Government itself) is to invite attack. I defend these and other issues with a knowledge of what is being discussed, the ramifications of the decisions, and an understanding of what the public actually values.

    I hold my positions as I have for years, as is documented and readily available. Not without an ear to hear other options, nor without the willingness to debate pros and cons in an effort to reach the best solution. I have no delusion of grandeur, nor do I believe any 1 person is so wise as to have all the solutions to all problems. But I have the passion and strength of my convictions to face opposition with facts and logic on issues that matter and have mattered over the years, without bending to and fro because of a misplaced desire to maintain a political advantage.

    Long before I felt the need to represent the many people of the NY-22, long before the political landscape required a clear, decisive, consistent representative (or several dozen) I believed these things. Don’t take my word for it, see my Youtube videos, my speeches, my political commentary. You won’t agree with it all, but then again you shouldn’t. Because the politician that everyone agrees with is most likely the same politician lying to everyone.

    Don’t be fooled though. I am not they media driven image of what a Republican is supposed to be. The image of an old, White male that hates gays, immigrants, and non-Christians. An image of intolerance fueled by greed and avarice. That’s not a Republican, or a Conservative. That’s not any political party of worth in America. That’s just a great way to sell newspapers and get eyeballs on TV.

    I am a Black Puerto Rican, 45 years old. I am a Conservative, a Republican, a small business owner, a homeowner. I am a brother and uncle. I am a son. I am most of all an American. I cannot be boxed into a forgettable category, or mashed into some mass of made up media hype.

    This is not a 30 second soundbite, nor is it the limit of what I stand for but the beginning. My platform may sound familiar, but that’s only because it is not being addressed and most Americans think it should be. I am running for the 22nd Congressional District because I want to make an effective difference, and the nation as well as the NY-22 are in desperate need of people in Congress that want to be effective and not just in office.

    If you have read this far, and you see the worth in what I am saying, share this. Because we have enough cookie-cutter politicians that are all painted with the same brush. The approval rating for Congress reflects how effective that is. Time for someone else, and all I ask is for voters and the public, to hear me out and then make their choice.

    Sincerely

    Michael Vasquez

    Transcript of interview for Michael Vasquez and WUTQ Mark Piersma and Frank Elias of Talk of the Town

    The following is a full transcript of the entire interview on 11/21/13 @ 7:20am, on 100.7FM WUTQ “Talk of the Town” with Mark Piersma and Frank Elias. The full audio of the interview can be found at http://wutqfm.com/interviews/79893

    This transcript has not been edited.
    *******************************************************************************************************************************************************************

    Mark Piersma: On the phone right now, he is the…I guess he is labeling himself as the Conservative Republican candidate for the primary for the Congressional 22nd District race, on the phone right now from Binghamton it is Michael Vasquez. Good morning sir, how are you?

    Michael Vasquez: Good morning Mark, How are you doing today?

    Mark P: Ah, it cold but at least the sun is shining bright. So that’s always a plus right?

    Michael Vasquez: Always

    (laughter)

    Mark P: So Mike, give us your background and why you decided to jump in this Congressional primary?

    Michael Vasquez: Well I’m a 45 year old homeowner here in Binghamton, and a small business owner as well as working a full-time job; and what I’ve been doing for the last 7 years is political commentary. I’ve covered every issue that’s out there on the news, I’ve spoken to just about everyone of the politicians in the lower Central NY and Southern Tier, and I just seen… we’re not getting represented properly in Congress.

    I think that’s true. I mean look at the approval rate, 8.5%. Everyone agrees on that. It’s time we start getting that because we have too many serious decisions facing Congress, we’re not getting the serious answers.

    Mark P: 6240870, give us a call, 6240870. So Mike, what kind of are the key issues that feel that Congressman Hanna has failed to represent his constituents to the fullest?

    Michael Vasquez: Well, just in this year he’s been…he’s flipped positions on immigration, on the NSA, he’s failed to provide opinions and direction or representation on Syria.

    I know this is not something that’s new, I mean if you look back at his history, going back into 2010 Time Magazine was noting how he’s flipped on positions since that time. And it’s consistent, you can find that throughout his entire history. It doesn’t take more than a Google search to find all the times he has flipped positions. That’s not a proper representation for the public. How can we trust our Representative and know that he is putting our issues first if we can’t trust where he stands on the issues.

    Frank Elias: Michael, good morning. This is Frank…

    Michael Vasquez: Hey Frank.

    Frank: Hey Michael, question. You mentioned flipping positions on immigration, NSA, and even Syria. Can you give us your position on immigration, NSA and then Syria as the 3rd and final question.

    Michael Vasquez: Sure.

    In terms of immigration, I have strong concerns about just giving a… as its written now the proposals are being looked at are looking to reward criminal and… well criminal activity, let’s call it what it is. These are people who have actively pursued violations of our law and right now the proposal is give them jobs [actually citizenship]. That’s not something I’m for, I’m against that. I understand we have to do something to address the issue, but I don’t thing giving them citizenship is going to help us. In addition I disagree with Mr. Hanna that we need to add 90,000 STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs for immigrant workers instead of giving them to US citizens. That’s a proposal he is working on right now and I disagree with that. I believe its HR 2131.

    The second question, was in terms of the NSA. I’m in favor of the Amash Amendment (H Amend 413) that was put out and Mr. Hanna voted against it. That was something to protect the average citizen. It didn’t change them [NSA] in their ability to protect the nation, it only stopped them from doing the abuses that we are seeing happen rampant in that organization and no one has addressed.

    The law would have actually said and protected the average citizen. Mr. Hanna voted against that. That’s…that’s very telling. That’s our 4th Amendment.

    In addition, the last one was in Syria. While the entire world, I mean in England, Germany, 70% of Americans had a firm position on what we should… what our President was doing, our unilateral decision to take action that could have taken us into another war; Mr. Hanna at the same time the rest of the world had a definitive answer couldn’t come up with one. He needed to keep looking into it.

    Mark P: um hmm

    Michael Vasquez: That’s…That’s someone that I take a more political approach to this, and when I say political I mean politician. Waiting to see where the winds blow to take a position.

    Now I could be wrong. I don’t know Mr. Hanna, but I can only go by what he has reported and what I am seeing across the nation at that time. There is more… I could go into drones. There are many other issues that have serious concerns.

    Mark P: 6240870, we are talking with Congressional Republican candidate from Binghamton Mike Vasquez, go ahead Frank…

    Frank: Mike you did a good job responding to those questions. Can you educate us more, a little bit about yourself? Tell us your education, your work history, could you please?

    Michael Vasquez: Sure. In terms of my, you asked first about my education… I went to Evander Childs High School in the Bronx. I don’t think anyone knows about that school out here.

    (laughter from DJ’s)

    I’m originally from New York City, I’ve been up here about 10 years

    Mark P: OK

    Michael Vasquez: In terms of college I went to Rutgers University. I studied English, Philosophy, and Chemistry. I did not get a degree. I wasn’t blessed with the money to finish, and instead started working.

    I’m a former stockbroker. I’m a fully licensed auto insurance agent. I own my own company, which is M V Consulting, Inc

    Frank: Is that M V or N V

    Mark P: M V

    Michael Vasquez: M as in Mike, V as in Victor.

    Mark P: You know Mike, you call yourself a Conservative Republican, is that correct?

    Michael Vasquez: Yes.

    Mark P: How do you translate Conservatism to the general voters? People hear the word Conservative and they get very afraid and they think its the old stogy white guy with money that hates gays, hates abortion, and hates immigrants. How do you translate that to the voters and to really get the ideals of Conservatism to the general populace so they understand what it is to be a Conservative?

    Michael Vasquez: OK. I find it funny. I’ve never been… no one has ever looked at me an mentioned old white..

    (Laughter from DJ’s and then Mr. Vasquez)

    For those that are the listeners that don’t know, I am a Black Puerto Rican.

    Mark P: Right.

    Michael Vasquez: But I understand that’s the image that’s been sold to America about what it is to be a Conservative. What a Conservative is, is what most people in America tend to be. These are people who are law-abiding, they have a strong faith in our nation, they believe strongly in the Constitution as has been written, and the laws that are in there.

    A fiscal Conservative, which I am definitely, wants to make sure that our Government spends out money wisely, does not waste it, and has the foresight to say ‘we’re not going to keep spending money that we do not have, causing the nation to go into a death spiral of debt that will ultimately hurt us.

    If you compared our Government to any… to the same way we are using our funds, compare that to a corporation or an individual. That’s a person that would lose their house. That’s a corporation that would be sued by every single shareholder for abuses. You can’t just keep spending.

    That’s $17 trillion in debt, we have a $15 trillion GDP. In just 3 years the numbers are going to become, $22 trillion in debt, $18 trillion GDP, and that’s assuming interest rates don’t move. Which is almost incredible to see.

    We can’t survive like that. No business can, no people can.

    Frank: Michael, this is Frank. Again I’d like to say refreshing interview. I think you are… speaking well.

    Yesterday we had on Mike Kicinski, who is also going to be challenging Congressman Hanna in the upcoming primary. A couple of things that he highlighted, similar to what you just said, debt and spending. He also Identified the health care issues, specifically the health care act. What would your positions be in regard to… well we ask Mr. Kicinski would you raise the debt ceiling… as was done recently? And what would you have done differently with the Affordable healthcare Act? if anything?

    Michael Vasquez: Starting with the Health Care Act, I have been writing about this and covering as a political commentator and a member of the press since 2009. This was always a flawed law, it was admitted to be a flawed law, this was passed as a partisan action that was NOT read. many of the Democrat were proud of it. And as we have come to find out many of the aspects of the law that are outright lies have been known.

    Senator Kirsten Gillibrand admitted such on ABC News. That Democrats knew this was going to happen and voted for it anyway and decided to never tell anyone. I don’t agree with any of that.

    There are aspects of the law that are good, and I think that’s great. We should keep them. But I believe at this point, because it is so messed up it needs to be repealed and replaced with an actual bipartisan that takes into account things that actually improve the cost of healthcare.

    Like malpractice. Capping the malpractice amounts. That’s one of the biggest, one of the highest cause of increases of healthcare costs across the nation. Which ACA [Obamacare] doesn’t address.

    Or how about have actual interstate trade. Not just within one State, but if Alaska has a plan that qualifies for New York State and it’s cheaper why can’t I buy that program? That’s an issue that was brought up, Democrats rejected it outright. I don’t know why. I believe that’s something.

    If we can actually get a bipartisan law, we can get a law that’s actually good. You’re other question… that was the healthcare, the other one was, I’m sorry?

    Mark P: Yeah, Frank. I even forgot.

    Frank: The other one was raising the debt ceiling.

    Michael Vasquez: Debt and the debt ceiling is difficult. because you don’t want to cause international turmoil and cause the entire money markets to go into a tailspin. It would be worse than the recession that we saw. At the same time we can’t just keep spending.

    So its not just a one sided approach. This is not… it’s spun sometimes or looked at as just being a independent thing by itself. That’s not correct. We have to have a budget. We don’t have and haven’t had,

    Mark P: We haven’t had one for what, 12 years we’re going on? or something like that? yeah.

    Michael Vasquez: Yeah, it’s incredible. You can’t run anything… businesses have difficulty planning, international trade is difficult when you don’t have a budget and people don’t understand what you are going to be spending. That’s part and parcel of the problem right there. We need a budget.

    We get that in place, and if we have a budget that can go backwards in time. Not just the future spending, let’s actually cut actual spending. That’s not going to be pleasant, and not everyone will love everything that has to be cut. But if we cut back, let’s say just 10%, which there is more waste than that in the Government right now. If we just cut actual spending by 10%, at that point you don’t even need to raise the debt ceiling.

    Mark P: Yup.

    Michael Vasquez: It maintains itself, if not brings us back. That helps us address the debt, and that helps us deal with the interest rate on the debt. So you take both of them at the same time… But if I an caught in a catch 22, would I endanger the nation? NO. If I could freeze the debt ceiling without endangering the nation and the economy of the nation? Of course I would reject increasing it.

    But I’m not going to hurt… I’m not going to go out there and sabotage ourselves just to be able to make a point.

    Mark P: Frank, last question, we have to wrap up…

    Frank: Michael, very much enjoying this conversation. I’d like to ask you, a final question. Your position regarding military conflicts throughout the world, specifically Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle East, other than Syria. You just addressed Syria, but Iraq, Afghanistan, a position on that?

    Michael Vasquez: My positions are very strong positions. I’m a former Marine. Served in the Marine Reserve. I take a very serious approach to that as I understand, my father was a Viet Nam vet – came back with Agent Orange. So I understand what it is to put someone on the front lines, I understand the cots to families after they come back home.

    Many of my friends from Afghanistan, Iraq, have has some issues. Serious ones. We need to take care of them, cause they put themselves in the ultimate position for our nation, because we asked them to.

    I do not believe in giving away lives lightly. there are incidents across the nation [meant globe] that do require our intervention. Because it will ultimately comes back to our safety here at home, and 9/11 proved that. But at the same time we have to do it right.

    I do not agree with, I do not agree with President Bush when he sent over troops initially, to start the war. But…the day the first boot lands on that foreign soil we have an obligation, as a nation, to have a winning strategy. We are there to win, not to draw not to retreat.

    If we are going to lose our soldiers, lose our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, then let’s get something for that.

    Mark P: Mike, ah sorry to cut you off but my producer is telling me we are way over time, so we have to get going. Mike Vasquez, thanks so much for the opportunity to speak with you and to introduce you to our audience. We put all the links up to your websites on our Facebook, and looking forward to this coming primary Mike. Thanks so much for joining us today. Good Luck.

    Michael Vasquez: Thank you and I look forward to doing it again.

    Press Release: What is Rep Richard Hanna hiding from voters?

    On November 21, 2013, Michael Vasquez was interviewed on 100.7FM WUTQ. In that interview a discussion of the voting record of Rep. Richard Hanna was discussed. The emphasis of this discussion was on the discrepancies between what Rep. Hanna has said and/or written publicly and what his actual votes/actions were.

    After the interview, at approximately 8am, a review of our records on the proof of the reported and recorded instances of flip flops by Rep. Hanna was conducted. This effort was part of our full disclosure on the claims made by Mr. Vasquez during the interview. That disclosure can be found at http://electmichaelvasquez.com/blog/2013/11/21/preview-of-100-7fm-wutq-interview-on-talk-of-the-town-with-mark-piersma/

    During the review, it was discovered that at least one instance of altering the record exists.

  • On 7/24/13, Rep. Richard Hanna voted on H Amend 413 (Amash Amendment) – Rep. Hanna voted NO, against the proposal to restrict the NSA’s powers.
  • On 7/25/13, Rep. Hanna wrote on his congressional webpage (http://hanna.house.gov/vote-explanations1/showallitems/) about his vote on HR 2397 – Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014. In this summary of his vote, Rep. Hanna included the following (visible at 8:30am that morning)

    “Finally, I supported an amendment that ensures the National Security Agency (NSA) may not target a U.S. person or acquire and store the content of a U.S. person’s communications, including phone calls and e-mails. I will continue to support Constitutionally-protected civil liberties and the right to privacy for all American citizens.”

    This statement by Rep. Hanna is opposed by the facts of the actual vote on the Amash Amendment on 7/24. Mr. Vasquez wrote about this conflict on 7/25.

  • On 11/21/13 it was discovered that all information for HR 2397, and the statement about the NSA vote, has been removed from the congressional webpage for Rep. Hanna. This would appear to be an attempt to retroactively prevent voters from accurately evaluating Rep. Hanna, and evading the correct conclusion that he had flip flop on this issue. There may also be other incidents of this nature, which we are reviewing.

    Mr. Vasquez states,

    “If this is a technical error, which would be highly suspect, then it should be corrected immediately. If it is something else, Rep. Hanna should own up to it and provide the voters with the truth of his record and statements. Either way, this should not be overlooked as the elimination can be taken as more manipulative than the flip flop itself.”

    If members of the press seek further comment on this or any item, please contact: Press@ElectMichaelVasquez.com or 6072429247.

    ***Update 4/4/2014 – at some point after February 2014 (the last time that I had checked) Rep. Richard Hanna finally put back the article referenced above. I count that as a victory, as Rep. Hanna can once again be held accountable for what he has voted as opposed to what he has said to the public.***

  • Candidate Michael Vasquez interviewed by Bob Joseph of WNBF News Radio on 11/19/13

    The following is the unedited audio of the interview that was on-air 11/19/13 at 9:30am. This was made into 2 videos due to time constraints of Youtube, no other change has been made.

    Candidate Michael Vasquez interviewed by Bob Joseph of WNBF News Radio – part 1

    Covers: Flip-flops by politicians, Government shutdown, Obamacare, reasons for running for election

    Candidate Michael Vasquez interviewed by Bob Joseph of WNBF News Radio – part 2

    Covers: 4th Amendment, drones (unmanned aerial systems), donations and fundraising, Obamacare fixes

    Video – Binghamton speech and Q&A – Michael Vasquez announces run for Congress 2014

    The following is the unedited speech, recorded on November 18, 2013 at the Broome County Courthouse. It is followed by the questions and answers with WICZ Fox 40 News on that same day. This is exclusive video, unaired on TV.

    If you would like to know more, or want to donate/support, visit www.MichaelVasquezforCongress.com

    Questions and answers with WICZ Fox 40 News – “Good representation is not a well-read speech, but an honest direct answer to questions.”

    Congressional bid speech – Binghamton, NY

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