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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.

    How to really help the Southern Tier and NY-22

    On April 22, 2014, Rep. Richard Hanna decided to grace the Southern Tier with his presence – to discuss the ‘spent grain’ proposal by the FDA. But he has failed to answer why he is hurting the very same small businesses with his votes and support of other law/Bills.

    The event, held at the Water Street Brewing Company in Binghamton, NY, marks on of the very few times that Rep. Hanna has ventured into the Southern Tier of New York – especially without President Obama appearing at the same time. In fact, searching Google (Rep. Richard Hanna Southern Tier) identifies only 5 visits by Rep. Hanna since 2012 when the NY-22 fell under his watch – out of the first 10 pages of searching with 718,000 items in the search parameter. This includes appearing with President Obama but excludes when he opened his office in Binghamton. Oddly, the visits coincide directly with when Rep. Hanna is seeking re-election, other than appearing with President Obama.

    Still, given the apparent absence of concern when an election is not involved, Rep. Hanna has yet to explain how giving 160,000 jobs to foreign “students” (his qualification given on-air on 4/4, WUTQ) – and allowing US students to be unemployed – is a benefit to constituents or the national economy. Rep. Hanna, in the WUTQ interview, wasted no time to attack Michael Vasquez, a former candidate in the NY-22 race, but failed to address how the challenge by Mr. Vasquez was wrong – beyond clarifying that the foreigners are foreign students.

    Rep. Hanna has yet to explain how his “ceremonial” anti-Obamacare votes, or his support of funding Obamacare without condition (9/29/2013), is helping small businesses – that are cutting back hours and not hiring because they can’t afford it.

    “Whether that means he is the most liberal, the most moderate, or perhaps just the least conservative member of the GOP conference is in the eye of the beholder.” – Scott Bland, National Journal, 9/30/13

    Rep. Hanna has yet to clarify why he has not pushed forward any Bill to cut the corporate tax rate that would help small businesses. Or why he has failed to pass any Bill created by him – other than naming a post office and 2 baseball coin Bills, in 2010.

    Rep. Richard Hanna is trying to hide what he has done (or failed to do) with a dog & pony show that is supposed to make the Southern Tier feel like he is involved. I believe the people across the NY-22 are smarter than that.

    On June 24th, which with the Dems abandoning constituents will be the election for the NY 22nd Congressional seat, you can make the better choice and support Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney for Congress.

    It’s your choice. Why not choose the candidate that has a history of caring about the issues affecting you?

    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

    Benghazi then and now – no answers, no accountability

    There are issues that face our nation that demand answers. Issues that affect our nation in its ability to conduct effective diplomatic actions, as well as reflect our nations willingness to defend our people and priorities. One such issue has been, and continues to be, the Benghazi attack on our consulate in Libya.

    While this is not a top headline issue for the media, I have had many people across the New York 22nd Congressional District ask me where I stand on this issue. I have been asked what I would do, if elected, about this.

    First, I will address what the incumbent has done. Rep. Richard Hanna was contacted directly by M V Consulting, Inc (the company I own, which maintains the political commentary site www.mvass.com) and Binghamton Political Buzz Examiner (where I am a reporter/commentator until announcing my run for Congress) on November 15, 2012 about Benghazi. This was along with Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand.

    The letter highlighted several concerns at the time, that remain concerns today. One question that Rep. Hanna was asked to respond to was:

    The attack on the consulate took more than 6 hours from start to finish. During that time nearby military bases sent no support troops, air gunships in the region provided no support, and CIA operatives 1 mile from the consulate were told to stand down efforts to support the consulate at least 2x. Further, air support to remove a terrorist mortar position went unheeded leading to a mortar attack that likely killed at least 1 American…

    What, therefore, are you doing to help resolve this issue to the benefit of constituents overseas, their families stateside, and the nation as a whole?

    As of 12/10/13, neither M V Consulting, Binghamton Political Examiner, nor myself directly have received a response from Rep. Hanna nor any other member of Congress we sent the letter to.

    Further, on 1/18/13, H Res 36 was presented in the House of Representatives. It’s goal is to create a special committee to resolve key issues about what happened in Benghazi and the impact on the nation. In part it would seek to:

    (4) how the relevant agencies and the executive branch responded to the attack and whether appropriate congressional notifications were made;
    (5) any improper conduct by officials relating to the attack;
    (6) recommendations on what steps Congress and the President should take to prevent future attack; and
    (7) any other relevant issues relating to the attack or the response to the attack.

    Rep. Richard Hanna does NOT support this measure. As of June 24, 2013 Rep. Hanna was on of 73 Republican members that was identified as still holding out. As of this being written Rep. Hanna continues to not support H Res 36, and any resolution it could bring to the benefit of Americans overseas that are serving the interests of the nation.

    At this time, a Google search of Rep. Richard Hanna Benghazi finds 4,600,000 results of which none in the top 5 pages shows a single comment from Rep. Hanna on this issue and where he stands.

    That is the representation constituents of the NY-22 are getting at this time on the Benghazi issue. I do not believe this reflects what the public wants done, nor is it in the best interest of the nation in my opinion.

    I believe that support for H Res 36 should be vocal and clear. This is an issue that may be affecting all our Ambassadors and Embassies across the globe. Members of Congress have an obligation to determine if the murder of our Ambassador and 3 Americans is a systemic problem, a failure of leadership at various Government organizations, or a combination of the 2.

    America cannot ask citizens to voluntarily place themselves in harm’s way, so that they can act in the best interest of the nation diplomatically, without providing a credible and genuine assurance that if another Benghazi-styled attack were to occur they will be protected. Such assurance is deeply in question today.

    As of this writing, no one has been held accountable for the Benghazi attack on our consulate. There has been no impact in the State Department, Homeland Security, CIA, military, or any other Agency of the Government. All those initially brought before Congress, and those that were temporarily suspended, are back to work without reprimand at this time (with the exception of then-Secretary of State Clinton, who has moved on to seek other political ambitions apparently).

    There has been, effectively, zero accountability. At the same time, there remains no answer on whether or not this tragedy was cause by a systemic problem, a failure of leadership (and/or how high that failure went up the chain of command), or a combination of both. This is unacceptable.

    I believe that our Representative should be acting like Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina

    If elected, I would support Rep. Gowdy and other members of Congress in there effort to answer these questions and provide accountability. I will support providing answers and accountability – including prosecution where needed – so that every American working in our Embassies across the world can do so with the credible assurance that we will never allow an attack like Benghazi to occur again. I will actively work to provide answers to the media and the public, on this and other issues that the American people expect and deserve a forthright answer on.

    That is one of the differences between Rep. Hanna and myself. I invite you to www.MichaelVasquezforCongress.com to learn more about be, and lend me your support if you agree that we deserve better from a Representative in Congress in 2014.

    WUTQ Talk of the Town radio interview with candidate Michael Vasquez

    The following link is to the 100.7FM WUTQ “Talk of the Town with Mark Piersma” website. Vasquez1449

    Mr. Vasquez was interviewed on 11/21/13 at 7:30am via phone. The interview was 15 minutes 25 seconds long. It covered: background of Mr. Vasquez; issue flip flops by incumbent Rep. Richard Hanna; immigration; international policy; Obamacare; national debt/debt ceiling; reason for entering 2014 Congressional race.

    The interview can be found at: http://wutqfm.com/interviews/79893

    Visit www.MichaelVasquezforCongress.com for more information on Mr. Vasquez, events he will be at, and to make donations securely via Paypal.

    Press inquiries for interviews or questions can contact 6072429247 or Press@ElectMichaelVasquez.com

    To see the some of the proof of claims made in interview visit Preview of 100.7FM WUTQ interview on “Talk of the Town” with Mark Piersma

    Preview of 100.7FM WUTQ interview on “Talk of the Town” with Mark Piersma

    Today I was on the radio with Mark Piersma, host of “Talk of the Town” on 100.7FM station WUTQ, at 7:20am. It was a good conversation that delved into the reasons why I am running for elected office. A copy of that conversation will be available later today.

    Of course there is no way to fully cover all the reasons for my run in the New York 2014 Congressional race and issues facing this nation in just 18 minutes. The issues are too diverse, and need far more discussion. In fact that is one of the things that I take issue with; the fact that politicians today count on people only getting 30 second soundbites about the issues – one of the reasons that there was some interest in Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) though we have learned that there were many lies and hidden truths to that law that were never disclosed to the public.

    That of course is not the fault of Mark Piersma, or Bob Joseph of WNBF (whom I was on air with on Nov 19th), or many others in the media. There is only so much time for each candidate/elected official, and the onus is on the person running for office to impart what is at issue and where they stand. Which is why I am writing this article.

    The first question was who I am. As I have provided, I am 45 years old; a former Marine reservist; a homeowner in Binghamton, NY; the owner of M V Consulting, Inc.; a licensed auto insurance agent; a former stockbroker; and a political commentator. I like to think that you can sum that up as just a regular American. I work a full-time job, pay bills, have debt, and struggle just like every constituent in the NY-22 if not the nation. Which means I understand directly the concerns and issues we all face, everyday. Something that I feel Congress is far too detached from.

    The reason I am running, as you have read, is because effective connections to the people leads to better representation in Congress and better laws that actually deal with the issues facing us today, and the generations to come. I believe that currently we are not seeing that representation in the NY-22. We cannot count on our views being presented or defended if for no other reason than our current representative, Rep. Richard Hanna, has a history of taking multiple sides of issues and ultimately voting often in contradiction to what he has publicly said.

    I mention in the interview that this is a common facet of Rep. Hanna. I confirmed that with the article from October 5, 2010 by Time Magazine, where Rep. Hanna is noted for back-pedaling on the Islamic temple issue of the time. Further it delved into the nature of the then-candidate.

    “Hanna then walked back his seeming support for the project, saying that while its proponents have a constitutional right to proceed, to do so would be “insensitive.”… Hanna, a businessman who almost beat Arcuri in 2008, isn’t afraid to say he’s a moderate…When a local television news station suggested that House minority leader John Boehner…is more conservative than Hanna, the candidate replied, “Most of them are. I am not in the mainstream with most Republicans.”

    In that one article we learn, and Rep. Hanna confirms, he is not a Conservative – though he ran on the Conservative ticket. This was later confirmed in the WKTV News interview – 4/8/11, published on Youtube 8/27/13 – Congressman Hanna on looming government shutdown – http://youtu.be/vnzeuqlv-2M – minute 2:42 – 2:52 – Rep. Hanna describes himself as “…one of the more independent people down here…”

    This is further confirmed by the conservative rating of Rep. Hanna by Ballotpedia – in 2011 he was rated 198th most conservative member of the House of Representatives (out of 435 members). In 2012 he was rated 211th.

    More recently there was his vote with the Amash Amendment (H Amendment 413) which would have placed limitation on the power of the NSA to abuse their power as they have been proven to be doing. Rep Hanna voted against this bill. But on his description of the vote Rep. Hanna said (which he has since pulled from http://hanna.house.gov/vote-explanations1/showallitems/)

    “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.” – as written on 7/25/13 at 8:30AM and has since been pulled down from Rep. Hanna’s Congressional site

    It is up to you to decide if his decision to pull his stated comments or his flip flop on the votes are the more troubling aspect.

    There is far more that could be confirmed on what I said of Rep. Hanna, like his effort to turn women away from the Republican Party (5/22/12), or his actions in making “ceremonial” votes in the face of Republican alternatives he feels are “not viable” (Youtube, 2/10/11, posted by theplumlinegs – http://youtu.be/g-dxefhCfg4 minutes 1:21 – 1:49).

    I will simply say that my opinion has been formed after due diligence and research. My decision has been based on discussion with the constituents of the New York 22nd Congressional district. All I ask is for the public to hear me out, and weigh what I offer against that of Rep. Hanna, and voters can choose whom they think is the best option.

    First endorsement for candidate Michael Vasquez in 2014 Congressional run

    With the announcement of the intent to run for the 2014 New York 22nd Congressional seat on the Republican ticket just 2 days old, the first endorsement has already come forward. Confirmation of the endorsement came late on November 19, 2013, and can now be released.

    Anthony F. Miller, Republican Committee Member, 6th District, Town of Chenango in Broome County New York has taken his position for the upcoming primary race in the NY-22. The positive news was welcomed by candidate Michael Vasquez.

    Candidate Michael "Vass" Vasquez

    Candidate Michael “Vass” Vasquez

    “I am very happy to know that I have the support of Mr. Miller, as well as many individuals throughout the district. It’s a wonderful boost, and another confirmation that I made the right decision to run. I hope that legislators and County Executives across the district will take the opportunity to speak with me on why I am running, and what I want to do for the district, as Mr. Miller has so they can make an informed decision for 2014. I look forward to having those same conversations with voters, so they too can make an informed choice in the primary.”

    Previously, in April 2013, Mr. Vasquez announced his exploration for the run and sought out individuals, businesses, and organizations across the NY-22 on their views on the current representation in Congress. Mr. Vasquez announced he will seek a primary battle with Rep. Richard Hanna for the Republican ticket in 2014 on November 18, 2013.

    To date, media coverage continues to increase and public awareness is growing. To find out more, visit www.MichaelVasquezforCongress.com

    Michael Vasquez announces 2014 run for Congress in Utica, NY: Transcript

    Thank you all for joining me on this busy work day.
    a4-2.jpg
    When I first announced my intention to explore a run for the NY 22nd congressional seat in April of this year, The approval rating for Congress was a mere 15%. Today it is about 9%. The reason then is the same as the reason now – Congress is disconnected from the public it serves.

    I have spent years as a political commentator, I have delved into laws that members of Congress failed to read. I have reported on the lack of action, and the flip-flops elected officials have presented – promising one thing and voting another repeatedly. I have noticed, as many Americans have, as our Congressmen and women have folded on campaign promises and defining principles one by one.

    Since April I have spoken to people and organizations and businesses across the New York 22nd. In cities like Binghamton, Homer, Norwich, Utica, each time hearing the same thing. Who is our Representative, what are they doing in Congress, why have we been told one answer and the proof of votes and Bills are another?

    What I have found, time and again, is that the people of the New York 22nd feel isolated from their Representative. That they have just another politicians that is adept at keeping a seat of power, without real substantive difference to the lives of constituents.

    That last point is vital. Critical issues in just this year like the Obamacare, immigration, late-term abortion, the NSA, Syria and international politics are just a few items. Most of all are jobs and the economy. To each, Congress and our Representative have failed the public. Whether it is the flip-flops on where our elected officials stand, or the inability to defend our views, the result has been the same. We all want a change, we want to be represented in Congress, not to just maintain a politician.

    In my ongoing conversations, people have asked simple questions. Can we get a member of Congress that will take a stand on the issues. Someone that understands what is happening in the nation and the world. Someone that can bridge the gap between D.C. and New York. Someone that shares our values of hard work, fiscal responsibility, and defense of our freedoms.

    What I have offered is what I have said, and written, for the better part of a decade as a member of the press and commentator. My consistent views and understanding of not only what a law will do today, but what it may do tomorrow. I have presented the issues and arguments of both sides so voters can be informed and make the best decision they can. I have strived, as some in the media have, to remind politicians that the power of our Government remains, as it always has, with the people and not those elected to office.

    But, as we all know and the approval rate proves, Congress has not heard us. Our elected officials have offered 30 second soundbites, pork barrel spending, and political double talk. They have rested on the assurance that the cost and difficulty of running for elected office has created a class of almost nobility. It is almost easier to die in office than be elected out, and that has apparently made them immune to the voices of the very people they are there to represent.

    It is because of this reality, the desires of the public and the failure of Congress that has put me on this path. I can no longer just own my home, work my job and run my small business, and assume that the best interest of the NY-22 is being supported. It appears that so many of us agree on this; young and old; rich and poor; every race and religion. Something must be done.

    Today, on behalf of those that want a clear and vocal voice in Congress, a Representative with defined views and a willingness to support what the public wants, a member of Congress that recalls the power is from the people for the people…always, I am announcing my entry into the 2014 New York Congressional race for the Republican ticket.

    This is a decision I have not made lightly. I know that to earn the trust of the public I will need to speak across the district more, and that there are many questions that need to be answered. I look forward to the opportunity to speak directly, with forthright answers, to the entire District so that we can ensure that we get more from Congress than lip service and a reign of nobles.

    Today is only the first part of that process. Tonight I will be in Endicott NY, and over the coming days and weeks I will be on the radio, in town halls, at meet & greets in the homes of many who expect more from our Government and politicians. Look up what I have said over the years, listen to my answers to your questions, and when the time comes pick the choice that you believe is best for the NY-22 and our nation.

    I believe we deserve more, and it’s time we remind Congress that they are not a nobility, that we control the election, and we will get what we deserve.

    Thank you.

    Accountability and Congress – will they ever meet?

    I have been asked on more than a few occasions why I am exploring a run for the New York 22nd Congressional seat. What is the end result that I hope for if I should run and win?
    a4-2.jpg

    Michael "Vass" Vasquez, looking to a better and brighter future

    Michael “Vass” Vasquez

    Tough questions, and absolutely essential.

    The 30-second answer? I want to make Congress accountable. To reflect and represent the people that elect members. To improve, in an effective and long-term solution, the issues that face this country today and the next decade. I don’t want to be a politician, but America needs Representatives that aren’t there to bask in their power.

    The actual answer takes a bit longer.

    Why I am looking at a run for the 22nd District comes down to what I have observed in my lifetime, and most importantly since I’ve been providing political commentary and news reporting in 2007. Like most people, before I was so actively following what is going on, I didn’t think about politics much. the occasional law and scandal would catch my attention, raising my ire, but like most I let it go. How could one person make a change, that’s what so many of us believe.

    But as I paid attention, researched speeches and campaign promises. As I reviewed charts and laws, I gained a more full picture of just how badly our Government was running things. The amount of waste, over-spending, and passing-the-buck on critical issues was astounding. The number of flip-flops and non-answers on important issues by members of Congress and other elected officials was staggering.

    As I wrote articles, gained a popularity across the world, and interviewed various politicians I sought to raise the bar as much as I could. I wanted to make more people aware of what was going on and what the people they voted for were actually doing. In this process I became known to most politicians in Central New York and the Southern Tier, or at least much of their staff. This allowed me more access to law-makers, and the laws that were (or were not) being made and passed.

    I have written over 1500 articles, some good enough to be republished in scholarly reference books. I have gone beyond the snappy headlines and 30 second soundbites that pass as political reporting and commentary that some in the media accept as good enough – and most politicians enjoy as it bypasses real answers. I have sought to bring issues to greater attention, with a depth that has allowed the public to make more informed decision about candidates and elected officials.

    Yet, Congress retains a 90% re-election rate. Most incumbents enjoy such a hold on their elected seats that they are almost untouchable financially, regardless of how they have failed to live up to the promises they have made. My voice, along with that of most of the news media, reached too few and was unable to make an effective difference.

    The result is a nation that is closer to the brink of financial despair than ever before (some believe it may already be too late). The results are a series of laws that sound great, but the function of which is devastating to the freedoms we take for granted (Obamacare, Executive Orders, NY SAFE Act, ect). The result is elected officials, especially in Congress, who talk about Conservative views and standards yet they vote in exact opposition to these views (on immigration, late-term abortion, NSA, drones, and more).

    Congress is no longer filled with people that represent and reflect constituents. Congress is filled with business men and women, whose occupation is the accumulation of power and control. It has become the castle for a nobility class that was never meant to exist in this nation, in direct contradiction to the intentions of the Constitution.

    I volunteered to become a Marine, because I love this nation – faults and all. When I returned home from Moscow in 1992 after more than a year abroad, I had lived through proof that this was the greatest nation in the world. When I started my political commentary I had a vision of making a difference, to prevent the nation I love from drifting into the nation I lived in overseas, where our freedoms don’t exist.

    I believe that one of the best ways to preserve our nation, to fix the long-term problems, is by breaking that nobility mentality, by making Congress accountable again. Even with just one seat, that allows the voice of the people to be heard and make things a little better. But it’s not just 1 seat, because there are some in Congress that equally believe the things I believe. I think even more are in Congress, but they fear a political backlash, but with more accountable and effective people elected, I think those others will speak out as well.

    As for what I expect to happen?

    That win or lose, the competition and fear of loss of power will cause some in Congress to stand up in a clear and decisive manner. That Representatives will fulfill their obligation to the people that elected them, championing the views of their constituents. That even 1 better and effective law will be passed that preserves our freedoms and ensures our quality of life is extended to the next generation and those after it.

    If such a person, whather elected already or candidate, existed in the New York 22nd Congressional District, I would not explore a run for elected office. If there were someone doing the job, or trying for it, I would be supporting them with all my abilities. But there isn’t, in my opinion. In talking with people across this large district, many agree. So many that I believe I have made the right choice.

    But in the end, the public will decide. I can live with whatever the result, because I am doing what I believe must be done at this time.

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