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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.

    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?

    Not a goodbye but a change in focus on the NY-22 congressional race

    First I want to thank all my supporters and friends that have helped me over the last year as I have pushed to provide the voters and residents of the New York 22nd Congressional District with a clear, consistent, and accountable alternative to an incumbent that is not connected to them. It has been a year of many personal sacrifices, from the monetary to the professional and beyond. All of that has been worth it, as while I am departing from the race as a candidate, there is an even more credible and worthy challenger in Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, whom I support fully.

    Vasquez1449
    I created an exploratory committee in April 2013 because after years of political commentary where I watched incumbents flip-flop on issues and fail to be accountable to the desires of their constituents I was as fed-up as anyone. The fact that Rep. Richard Hanna was my Representative and was as inconsistent and unaccountable as many of the worst in Congress demanded action, and I felt political commentary was not enough.

    It didn’t take long to learn that my initial thoughts and observations were correct. Voters had succumb to apathy in regard to elections, after watching members of Congress get re-elected while the nation received no benefit from their presence in Washington D.C. Ever fewer people were voting, or even paying attention to the issues, because the machine of politics seemed unstoppable. I felt I could do something about that.

    Often I was told that I could never raise enough money. While money is a factor in reaching the 700,000+ residents in the NY-22, I firmly believe that it is NOT the most important factor on running for or holding elected office. While I would never be able to take on Rep. Hanna in a battle of funds, having more or less money will never make bad votes in Congress better. Having a Representative in Congress that understands the impact of the decisions on Congress on the average American, is to quote the commercial, priceless.

    I was told, by a selected few, that I should wait my turn or that I had not earned the right to run. Both answers fail to appear in the Constitution and FEC election requirements. More importantly, such comments negate the years of political commentary I have under my belt. It ignores my literally hundreds of articles and Youtube videos, and interviews with every candidate and incumbent in the Southern Tier and lower Central New York. If discussing the issues of the day that impact millions in this nation and abroad, and standing up for the core values of Conservatives and Republicans is not “earning it” I doubt any incumbent in Congress should be in office (which for more than a few would be a good thing).

    Yet for all the naysaying, and shutouts to County Committees (Broome and Oswego in particular), never once has ANYONE ever said that I was seeking the wrong goals. Not once has there been an argument in favor of whether we are being represented by a consistent and clear voice in Congress. Not once has anyone stated that standing up for veterans, cutting the corporate tax rate, giving STEM jobs to Americans first, trying to fix the national debt, and ensuring we have a nation that is not a mirror image of Big Brother is anything but the right course of action for our Representative in Congress to take.

    So I bucked the system. I stepped out and dared to take on an incumbent, with no prior elected experience – something that more than a few in Congress right now did as well when they were first elected.

    In the space of a year I helped to raise the bar on the NY-22 election. A race that went from a given Republican win for the incumbent, to a Primary race that features no Democrat in opposition and credible dedicated challengers focused on the issues that I believe all Americans want to be discussed and resolved by Congress. As a novice candidate I reached the lips of D.C. and forced a question to be asked – if an incumbent shares none of the values of their Party or constituents should they be supported in a re-election?

    But don’t think this is all about me. Though the word I is used a lot understand that I am only the front person for a wave of people that made donations, organized events, bought supplies and printed materials, ensured that I arrived at various speaking opportunities, and so many more behind the scenes issues that are critical to any campaign. Together we have been the I that voters have learned about.

    Thus, due to these efforts, many credible Republicans and Conservatives from across the district pondered the question that now had to be asked. Many paid attention to the 20 minute debates that waged in the County Committees as more than a few argued that Rep. Richard Hanna is not the best choice for the NY-22, and another choice is available. Rep. Hanna may have gotten the headlines he wanted, but there is no unity in his support.

    Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney

    NY-22 candidate Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney


    All of this led to Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney entering the race. She is a candidate that encompasses all the positives that I have, and which caused Rep. Hanna concern, while not sharing my weaknesses. Assemblywoman Tenney has experience as an elected official (having won election and re-election by 2 to 1 margins). She has a record of votes – consistently voting the will of her constituents, without compromise of her core values as a Conservative and Republican. She is a successful businesswoman, with more access to capital of her own as well as a base of supporters and donations. If I had these things I would not exit this race, but then again if I had them Rep. Richard Hanna would not be in office either.

    So I have succeeded, in part. I leave the race for the NY-22 congressional seat without defeat. More importantly, the issues I have brought up, the flip-flops that the incumbent wants to avoid discussing, the lack of consistency and attacks on his own Party, are all on the table. No longer can Rep. Hanna count on Committees (like Broome County and Oswego County) shutting out opposition. No longer can Rep. Hanna count on the news media to favor an elected official. No longer can Rep. Hanna ignore constituents in favor of special interests.

    Rep. Hanna faced a credible threat in my run for elected office, and with Asseblywoman Tenney he faces more than a match. Where Rep. Hanna attacks the Party and its core values, Assemblywoman Tenney supports them. Where Rep. Hanna avoids the public and taking a stance on the issues, Assemblywoman Tenney embraces them.

    Yet, I am not done. I will continue my efforts to re-ignite the passion of the public for politics. I will stand up for the issues the people believe in, lending my voice whenever I can help to make a difference. An example is me speaking on April 12th at an anti-NY Safe Act rally. There will be more.

    I once said that I want to make sure there is an accountable, credible, consistent voice in Congress representing the New York 22nd Congressional District. In departing the race, and lending my support to Assemblywoman Tenney, I believe that we can achieve that goal. Because the status quo that Rep. Hanna embodies is not good enough. We are Americans and we expect more, we deserve more, and with Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney we can have more.

    Again I thank you for this invaluable experience and the chance to help improve our nation, our district, and our future. I hope I have earned your faith in me.

    Sincerely

    Michael Vasquez

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

    As provided to news media on 3/10/14

    For immediate release
    Please contact 6072429247 – campaign of Michael Vasquez for Congress – for further comment or questions
    *************************************************************************

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

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

    Vasquez political position cards

    Political position cards for the Michael Vasquez for Congress campaign

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

    Candidate Vasquez stated,

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

    Candidate Vasquez went on to state,

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

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

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

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

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

    Oath Keepers will be represented at the event, is a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, peace officers and first responders that seek to fulfill the oath mandated by Article VI of the Constitution they have taken.
    ————————————————————————————–

    A flyer of the event can be seen here:
    Sons of Italy – anti Safe Act event – Endicott, NY on 3/19/14 @ 7pm

    Political position cards

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

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

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

    Vasquez political position cards

    Political position cards for the Michael Vasquez for Congress campaign

    M Vasquez political position cards

    Political position cards for the Michael Vasquez for Congress campaign

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

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

    Sincerely

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

    Rep. Hanna’s 2013 report card – a more realistic review

    At the end of 2013 my opponent for the NY 22nd Congressional district, the incumbent Rep. Richard Hanna, released a summary of his efforts in Congress as a show of his dedication to the concerns of constituents. It’s a great gesture, but if looked at in context it is just a gesture.

    Let me explain.

    In the middle of page 3, right after the table of contents, a “snapshot of 2013 by-the-numbers” is presented. In the very first item, my point is made explicitly clear –

    174 public Vote Explanations posted on Facebook, Twitter and Hanna.House.Gov

    This is a lie, and I dare Rep. Hanna to sue me because I’m right. The total is 175. Because Rep. Hanna removed one of his public statements. Specifically How I voted on HR 2397 – which now comes up with a 404 error if you search for it.

    Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

    Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

    Why is it missing and unaccounted for? Because in that article, published at 8:30 AM on July 25th, Rep. Hanna stated that he voted to protect the public from the abuses of the NSA. That statement flies in the face of his actual vote on July 24th – against the Amash Amendment which would have protected the public from NSA abuses.

    Thus, since the full unedited original article has yet to be placed back into the record, I am led to believe Rep. Hanna is actively hiding his record from the public on an issue constituents are very concerned about. A record that isn’t always in the interest, or even good faith, of what the people he was elected to represent wanted and believe, I am led to conclude.

    I say this directly, Rep. Hanna, if a word of what I have just said is untrue – sue me and I will exit the race for Congress.

    You can decide for yourself what you make of this shell-game with the facts. But moving on.

    On page 3, and elsewhere in the document, Rep. Hanna takes great pains to highlight the 9 Bills and resolutions he sponsored, as well as the 216 he co-sponsored. What my opponent fails to note, and hopes voters won’t notice, is what he does not include in the snapshot or the document… the number of Bills and/or Resolutions he had pass in the House of Representatives, let alone become law. An omission based on the failure to actually succeed since being elected in 2010.

    My opponent paints a happy picture of the status on HR 2310 – a Bill that would provide headstones for Reservists that have died in combat for this nation. A Bill that is frozen in Congress and will likely never become law. Even though the cost is negligible, it is a bi-partisan issue, it is supported by veterans and the public, and there are 89 current members of Congress that are former military that would never dare vote against this Bill. Oh, and only 5 members of Congress, that are former military, support this Bill.

    Which brings up the question of why? Has my opponent presented this to them? If not he is being inefficient, if he has then he is ineffective for the reasons why this Bill has universal appeal already stated.

    There are other such examples, like H Res 134 (condemning North Korea) and H Res 190 (condemning the Boston Marathon bombing), each of which failed to garner support though there is universal bipartisan support for the issues addressed. Again, were these resolutions with less than 10% support framed a successes because the question of effectiveness and efficiency would be asked – and a shrewd politician obfuscates any question that might cause them to lose votes, no matter how true?

    On page 4 of the report card, my opponent then makes this statement

    “It is clear that in many ways Washington is broken as 2013 draws to a close. I am pleased to report that your office is not.”

    Inefficiency, ineffectiveness, lack of representation of the voters and public in the 22nd District are not examples of a broken elected “office”, I agree. But it is a clear indicator, in my opinion, of one that is perhaps inept. It is an example of something that needs to be corrected, as Government is broken because too many in Congress are very good politicians just like Rep. Hanna seems to be.

    You may disagree, but I will press on yet again.

    The report card on my opponent then goes through several pages of his biography, the mission his elected office has in Congress (working for the people – not representing them, which is not the same thing by far), a nice picture of the NY 22nd District, and the multiple Committees that my opponent sat on in one of the least trusted and approved Congresses in the history of Congress. In fact 2013 was one of the least functional Congresses ever. Which calls to question how much value sitting on multiple sub-Committees matters when the entire Congress is failing to get anything substantial done.

    But I digress. Thus, eventually, the report card gets back to the point of what was actually done.

    The first thing it highlights is transparency and accountability. To this it restates the factually incorrect 174 disclosures. It is amazing how in a single figure my opponent, calls into question the transparency he presents to the public and simultaneously fails to be accountable to that same public – all at the same time.

    My opponent then takes pride in being ranked as one of the most Liberal Republicans in Congress in 2013. That can be also stated as one of the most Conservative Democrats, or the most Moderate, or as he states “most independent Republican” – they are all equivalent terms I believe. But independent sounds far better than what some might call an elected official that actively tries to grow the opposition Party (as Rep. Hanna did when he told women voters to join the Democrat Party).

    He then pats himself on the back for job creation awards (while there are over 20 million Americans still underemployed and the participation rate is at a low of 63%), lauds himself for his NRA rating (though he failed to show up at Remington Arms when President Obama was placing gun manufacturers under siege at the beginning of 2013, though he did months after the gun restriction debate had died down), and then hypes himself on his work with STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math] jobs.

    Let me pause there. My opponent, the incumbent Congressman, wants to be praised for trying to pass HR 2131 – the SKILLS Visa Act – that would give 160,000 STEM jobs to foreign immigrants instead of American workers. I’ve talked to a lot of people in the NY-22, and I don’t know any who have said they support that.

    Rep Hanna then moves on to talking about how many people he responded to in 2013. The numbers sound impressive, until compared to the number of people in the NY-22 (over 700,000). Plus the number seems a bit vague. How many people sent letters and request to Rep. Hanna? What is the percentage of responses? It’s not quibbling when you consider that I have talked to dozens of people who state that Rep. Hanna never responded to a single letter or request they made. Even more important to me considering that I still have not gotten any form of response from a single letter that I wrote to Rep. Hanna since 2012 – even to this day his office has not responded to me or my media company, ever. How may others received the same disregard – 100? 10,000? 100,000? My opponent avoids saying.

    Finally, on page 12, my opponent notes what he actually did in Congress in 2013. He presents just 1 Bill passed, for baseball coins. But he gives equal billing, in great wording, to HR 2310, H Res 134, and H Res 190. He makes it seem like getting less than 10% support on universal, bipartisan, unopposed items is success – and perhaps in a Congress with an approval rating of 8% it is. But I tend to think the public expects more. From Congress, their Representative, and Government in general.

    On page 14 my opponent starts to name all the great causes he supports. He leaves out the fact that he doesn’t mind making “symbolic votes”, as he has admitted and is available to be seen on a Youtube video of an interview he did. He leaves out his apparent rejection of Republican women. He avoids his flip-flop on late-term abortions. He all but forgets his inability to take a side about Syria. He completely disregards his multiple flip-flops on immigration, and his apparent preference (finally) to support reforms on immigration that 9 out of 10 residents of the NY 22nd Congressional District that I have spoken to do not support. He even glosses over the fact that his sudden defense of truck drivers comes more than a year after the rules were changed and several months after the rules went into effect (even though the trucking industry has been fighting this issue since 2012 amid my opponents silence on the issue).

    By page 21, my opponent resorts to taking a bow for the pork-spending that endears Congress to some, and has guaranteed re-election to more than a few politicians that have been in office so long they seem to believe themselves to be a nobility (I offer the examples of Sen. Harry Reid, and Sen. Schumer, but there are dozens of others).

    Of course the numbers are spread out so as to hide the very apparent bias to the northern end of the NY-22. The Southern Tier received $5 million in funds (Broome and Tioga Counties), Central NY – the middle of the District – received $6 million (Cortland and Chenango), with the north (Oswego, Herkimer, Oneida, and Madison) getting $9 million. If you take out flood relief for Central NY and the Southern Tier, which had little to do with the Congressman, the difference in actions becomes vastly apparent (almost 2-1 bias toward the northern end of the district).

    My opponent of course makes room to note the obligatory shaking hands and kissing babies that is part and parcel of all politicians. 2 pages for that. My opponent then goes on to highlight 2 pages of highly selective quotes from cherry-picked news items to finish the report card.

    I imagine every student in any educational institution envies the ability of Rep. Richard Hanna, like President Obama, to create their own report card and grading system.

    With all honesty I cannot say that my opponent was a complete failure in 2013. He did accomplish some goals that constituents wanted. There were some issues that he could do nothing about (though he could have said far more in my opinion – like Syria, abuse of Executive Orders, overreach of the NSA and IRS, ect). But that does not excuse or even equal the things that he did have control over and failed on.

    If we were to be fair, and I am trying my best to be objective though he is my opponent, a true grade of the overall performance in 2013 would be a D+. Transparency and Accountability would be an F-. Effectiveness would be a D+. Efficiency would be a D+. Consistency would be a F-. Leadership would be a D. Responsiveness (to the political ramifications) would be a shining star with a C. Deficit spending would be a B-. Flip-flopping would be an A+.

    At the end of the day what will this all mean? That is for voters to decide. But I believe, if voters look at the whole picture – at what is being omitted and hidden, what was done and what was calculated for political gain, what has been done in the name of the NY-22 that fails to reflect the views of the people of the NY-22 – then I believe 2014 will see my opponent, Rep. Hanna, fail to graduate.

    Sincerely

    Michael Vasquez

    You are invited…

    Given is the fact that everyone is getting ready for Christmas and the holidays. Given is the fact that thoughts about 2014, let alone politics, is far from the minds of most Americans. Yet, we plan today to do more tomorrow.

    Barbeque ribs

    Thus, I warmly invite everyone that is interested in a good meal to the VFW Post 1449 at 103 Nanticoke Ave. Endicott, NY on January 17, 2014.

    Starting at 5:00pm there will be a BBQ Rib Dinner available – 1 pound (precooked) of Country-style barbeque ribs, green beans, and Country-style fries – all for $10. Assorted desserts will be available too. All who attend are sure to be well-fed. It’s like a slice of summer in the middle of a New York winter.

    Don’t let the politics put you off, you can come and enjoy the meal by itself.

    For those that do have an interest in how and who is representing the NY-22, I will be at the event and open to your questions. Please take the opportunity to lean more about me, why I am running, and what I plan to do if elected.

    Advance tickets are available now – you can call Roger Bensley at (607) 785-7071, of the staff at Friends to Elect Michael Vasquez to Congress at (607) 242-9247 to get your tickets.

    You can also let us know if you plan to attend via Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/MichaelVasquezForCongress). Please try to let us know in advance if possible as we do not want to waste any food, and we want everyone to have a meal if they want one.

    The event is being given by Friends to Elect Michael Vasquez to Congress. Proceeds from the event will go to my effort to become the representative of the 22nd Congressional District. If you wish donations, separate of the meal, can be made for $25, $50, up to $2,600.

    Please share this with anyone that enjoys BBQ ribs, good people, and a great time.

    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.

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