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

Video – Utica speech and Q&A – Michael Vasquez bid for Congress 2014

The following is the unedited speech, recorded on November 18, 2013 behind the Oneida County Courthouse. It is followed by the questions and answers with WKTV 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

Questions and answers with WKTV News – “Questions are easy to answer, if you are honest and without anything to hide.”

Run for Congress – Utica, NY

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

Thank you all for joining me on this busy work day.
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.

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

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

Michael Vasquez speech on 2014 run for Congress – Binghamton, NY

Hello, my name is Michael Vasquez and I want to thank you for joining me today.

Michael "Vass" Vasquez

Michael “Vass” Vasquez

As some may be aware, for years I have maintained my small business as a political commentator of national news, and interviewing candidates and elected officials across Central NY and the Southern Tier. My efforts have led to 2 citations in scholarly works and hundreds of thousands of readers across the globe via the internet. Still as a homeowner and resident of Binghamton, NY, like far too many Americans, I have felt ever less satisfied with Congress and the convictions of my Representative.

Thus, a little more than 6 months ago I made an announcement that I was exploring a run for the New York 22nd Congressional District in 2014. Since that time I have traveled across the District, speaking to college students, retirees, various professionals, housewives and everyone else. I have engaged the public in discussions about how we are being represented in Congress, the job Congress is doing and the issues facing our nation. The results of these conversations have been enlightening.

When I first looked at a run for office, the approval rate for Congress was about 17%. Jobs were the primary focus of the public, and our President had just enacted more than 20 Executive Orders that affected our freedoms – without the consent of Congress, and the silence of may Representatives.

Now the approval rate of Congress is about 8.8%, and jobs remain the main concern of the average American. The nation has endured revelations of abuse of power by the NSA, a unilateral attempt to engage in hostilities against Syria, and a famously failed launch of Obamacare, among other events.

For the NY-22, in this time span, over and over people asked where was our Representative? Where was our voice in Congress? What was being done in our collective name to make these situations better?

Over the last 6 months I have also spoken to business owners, and political organizations of all sizes. Time and again I was grilled about who I am and what I intended. Rightfully so, as I am no politician. Yet, as a former political commentator, the issues that concern all Americans are issues that I have written and spoken about for years.

My views, which are well documented in my near-decade of political commentary and news coverage, have not changed, just because of my political interests. My answers to these leaders and small business owners remain the same as what I have written on every subject that has been in the public mindset, and more than a few that weren’t.

In each of these discussions, whether to an individual or to large groups, the result was the same. I have received acclaim for my passionate belief that Congress must reconnect with the public to ensure a better Government. I have gained a following, waiting to see my next steps. I have received encouragement, with the caveat that I would face an uphill battle should I go further.

For all these reasons and more, I understood that my initial thought in April was correct. That while the NY-22 was finally a District no longer under the thumb of political gerrymandering, it was far from receiving effective leadership and representation. In fact, of those I spoke with I’d say some 1 in 10 thought that Rep. Hinchey was still in office. Almost 1 in 4 couldn’t name who represented them. Virtually half were unaware of anything that had been done by our Representative in Congress; and many of those that could were not pleased with what had been done.

I feel it is the obligation of those elected to the House of Representatives to be a reflection of the people that elected them. To present the issues facing the nation, the choice of action that the Representative feels is the best option, and to ultimately defend the position that constituents want – no matter what that position may be.

That isn’t what is happening in Congress today. Not in New York, nor in almost any other part of the nation. Some elected politicians have mastered the art of 30 second soundbites, and flip-flopping on the issues. They have become so secure in the chance of re-election, the bar to entry has been raised so high in terms of cash needed to compete, that many in Congress act as if they are the modern equivalent of nobility classes.

The disparity is too wide, the abuse of the good faith of the public to common. I can no longer sit idle, and my political commentary – like that of so many others – is not enough.

Therefore I am announcing that I will be running for the 2014 NY 22nd Congressional District seat, on the Republican ticket.

This is a grassroots effort. I am not independently wealthy, nor am I blessed with political connections built over decades for the purpose of seeking elected office. I am no politician.

I am a hard-working American home owner, who like the overwhelming majority believes that Congress is ineffective today not because of the laws in place, but the lack of conviction of many of those that have come to be elected. I am running for office, not because I desire the position, but because there is a need for a Representative that is connected to the reality average Americans face every day.

I invite everyone listening to this speech, or reading it, to seek out what I have said over the years. Learn about this candidate for Congress. Then come join me as I continue to speak across the NY-22, ask me your questions and hear my answers.

An effective Congress starts with effective Representatives that are connected to what constituents want and need. Together, I want to take our concerns to the floor of Congress. If you agree, then I hope I will earn your vote.

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?

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.

Government shutdown over Obamacare – is it worth it?

The Government of the United States has officially shutdown as of 12:01 AM on Oct 1,2013. Well the discretionary spending portion of the Government anyway. Now come the blame game and dire finger pointing by the media and pundits alike. But was this shutdown over Obamacare worth it?

The answer to the question depends entirely on why politicians sought the OK Corral showdown in the first place. But before I go there let’s get some perspective.

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was presented as a non-tax that would provide everyone in America with health insurance if they wanted or needed it. For those that did not want to take part in the Government healthcare exchanges, they were told they could keep their existing plan and doctors. The best part, as the public was told, was that the cost of healthcare would go down, and it would save money from being added to the deficit. This was the promise of Obamacare.

Since June 2009 the majority of Americans (that’s Democrats, Independents, and Republicans) has not bought into the above pitch. According to every poll, by anyone you want to select as far as I am aware, there has not been less that 51% opposition to Obamacare in over 3 years.

In the meantime, the public has learned that Obamacare is a tax, which is why the Supreme Court did not strike it down. Chief Justice Roberts also made clear that the quality and repercussions of laws are not the responsibility of the Supreme Court, just the constitutionality.

We have learned that the cost of healthcare has increased, and there is no cost savings. In fact Obamacare increases the deficit. Almost everyone in America is expected to be covered – just a pesky 10-15 million won’t be involved for reasons ranging from lack of knowledge, lack of income, dislike of the law, and in some cases the perceived lack of need.

It gets better. As years have passed America has learned of hordes of flaws in the law, most unintentional and likely due to the fact that the law was passed without being read by the supermajority of Democrats that passed it (which oddly enough is not considered a partisan action by the media). We have learned that boat-loads of corporations from the smallest to international giants have chosen to bail on healthcare – eliminating the option of workers from keeping their plans and doctors.

We have also learned that implementation of this law has been about as flawed as its creation, with serious questions on the safety of the data input by Americans that chose to explore the exchanges (whether they want to or now need to). At the same time one of the biggest parts of the law, and several smaller parts, have been pushed back at least a year due to complications – but not the mandate on the public.

But the promise of cheaper monthly premiums for healthcare has been all the rage leading up to Oct. 1st. Still, in all that hoopla the math presented left out the costs of out-of-pocket expenses – like copay, deductibles, and what is or is not covered by the plans. The real world cost is not just a monthly premium, but you’d never know that from what has been presented so far.

Thus, public opinion has remained negative. Even in the face of uncounted speeches by the spectacular orator President Obama. Even with the aid of multiple Hollywood supporters, members of the NFL and NBA, and a host of other marketing gimmicks meant to spur a positive response.

So back to the question at the start. Is this partisan attempt to wipe out Obamacare worth shutting down the Government?

If, as some on the far left have told me, it is an attempt to attack the Black President then no. But there is nothing in the language used by anyone over the past 3 years when discussing Obamacare to imply anything racial. That doesn’t stop some from suggesting it, but it’s an issue that doesn’t exist.

If it is simply an attempt by the political party out of favor at the moment to confound the other side of the aisle, then no. But the pubic opinion and the problems above explicitly describe more than a political tug-of-war.

If it is just an attempt by Republicans to preserve their ability to get re-elected by constituents who want to see a more principled and conservative representation, then no. While there is no doubt that more than a few Republicans, either with dreams of elections to higher office or looking to shore up a very moderate if not Democrat voting record, have voted to repeal or defund Obamacare just for the political gain that is not enough of a reason to shutdown the Government. Again, the public and the litany of problems, plus revelations on what Obamacare really is and does clearly states that this is more than mere political math.

If this is an honest (or at least as honest as some politicians get) attempt to represent the views of the majority of Americans for more than 3 years, then it is worth it. It would mean that this has been an attempt to correct the initial partisan passage of the law, the failures of the law to address serious concerns (like malpractice insurance – a key factor in healthcare increases, and interstate competition for health insurance plans, ect), and the consistent refusal of Democrats to repeal a law the nation has not wanted (which in itself is a partisan reaction without the slightest concern for public opinion or representation).

For me, I believe that a shutdown of the Government as an attempt to repeal or defund Obamacare as it is written is essential for a reason I believe is more important than everything else mentioned so far. Because it is a law that gives power to the Government over the public in a manner never seen before.

Nothing is more terrifying than a Government that can tell its populace they must do whatever. Not that they can choose this or that, or if they elect to invoke this privilege they must comply with regulations and laws. Obamacare is the Pandora’s Box that leads to a far less free nation than has ever existed before. It is only a question of time before a new law – for the good of the public – is passed (possibly with great enthusiasm) the restricts and limits freedom in ways that generations 2 or 3 decades ago would have rioted over. This is the path that leads to Governments like Syria, Iran, the old USSR, and China to name just a few examples.

IF, and only if, Republicans have taken this hard stance to represent the public and protect the freedoms they swore an oath to defend, then the Government shutdown is worth it. Anything less is just political grandstanding, and an attempt to ward off election challenges from the Right and the Left.

Which reason, for each Representative, will be very clear is short order. Hopefully the public at large will notice.

What has Rep. Richard Hanna done for you lately?

With the accidental resolution of military strikes against Syria completed (or at least off the table until some time in 2014) its time of the nation to get back to the issues that directly affect the nation, and constituents of the New York 22nd Congressional District.

Since most of the public is likely to have completely forgotten what was being discussed over the summer, due to the looming potential of involvement in yet another Middle East war that the solid majority of Americans opposed (and Rep. Richard Hanna had no opinion on), I went over what Rep. Richard Hanna has done in 2013. There is no better indication of how well the public is served than by seeing what they are being served.

Looking at, a quick search provides a list of 14 Bills that Rep. Hanna has either sponsored or co-sponsored. Of those, only 1 has made it past a House Committee, and was actually made law. That was HR 1071: To specify the size of the precious-metal blanks that will be used in the production of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins. Baseball fanatics are sure to be happy as the Bill was predicted to only have a 14% chance of passage.

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

Does this Bill help small businesses? Outside the finite and niche baseball collectibles arena, no. Does it help the NY-22? No. Does it improve the quality of life for even a minority of the residents in Upstate New York? No. But politicians don’t count their success based on what Bills they actually pass in Congress (lest voters actually evaluate them on the merits of their work ethic), strong attempts to pass the Bills that matter to voters is what counts.

Rep. Hanna failed to get past committee, or even get strong support, on House Resolution 134 (H Res 134): Condemning the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for its continuing acts of aggression, its expressed intent to break the July 10, 1953, Korean War Armistice Agreement, and for its repeated violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

North Korea, a nation that is top on the list of countries that hates America, starves its people, and is reportedly winding up a plutonium reactor (which is good for nuclear weapons like radioactive dirty bombs) is universally condemned by Congress. There is not 1 member of Congress that would support North Korea and the horrors it imposes on its people, yet Rep. Hanna was unable to get traction on this.

Then there is H Res 190: Condemning the April 15, 2013, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks in Boston, Massachusetts and calling upon the United States Government, the governments of all nations, the United Nations, and other international organizations to renounce the use of IEDs and take actions to stop their proliferation.

Absolutely everyone in America was aghast and angered by the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon. Equally, the devastation done to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by IED’s has no support from any member of Congress or American. Yet again this has gone nowhere, and is predicted to have 0% chance of getting passed.

In both cases, these are issues that are universal. Neither would alter the position of the nation, or alter the lives of the public, they are merely statements of the opinion of Congress (and in these two Bills, the clear mindset of the nation). Bipartisan support should not be a difficult task, if presented by an effective politician. The results speak for themselves.

Then there is HR 2310: To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to make available for purchase Department of Veterans Affairs memorial headstones and markers for members of reserve components who performed certain training.

Again, an issue that no politician would take issue with, and the public can support. Yet it sits, without notice or action, a testament to the ability of the politician that proposed it. For the record there are 89 Representatives with prior military service (which Rep. Hanna is not among), 4 support this Bill. Prominent members of Congress that served in the military like Speaker Boehner, or even Rep. Chris Gibson of NY, Rep. Michael Grimm of NY, Rep. Peter King of NY, even Rep. Charles Rangels all without support of this Bill. Which begs the question, where they even asked?

So it’s pretty clear that Rep. Hanna isn’t very good at passing a Bill he has written, unless it involves baseball collectibles. What about Bills he has co-sponsored? Nope, to date nothing has passed their either. But it does bring up a very interesting Bill that he has cosponsored.

HR 2131 (SKILLS Visa Act): To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to enhance American competitiveness through the encouragement of high-skilled immigration, and for other purposes.

This is an immigration reform Bill, which is a tough subject for Rep. Hanna. In April and early May 2013, Rep. Hanna placed himself on both sides of the immigration debate. With HR 2131 it appears that he has finally picked a side.

What the SKILLS Visa Act does is give visas to immigrants that work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This of course will allow those immigrants to compete with the US graduates with STEM degrees. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, over the next 10 years there will be 3.9 million US STEM degrees – or 1.55x the number of jobs projected to be available. Yet, Rep. Hanna wants to increase the competition for these jobs with foreign workers. Odd.

But HR 2131 does even more. It immediately increases the number of foreign workers by 90,000 [SEC. 201. H-1B VISAS] – current actual unemployment in the US is 21.2 million.

Further, the SKILLS Visa Act apparently allows foreign workers of ANY type under the following

(c) Aliens Who Are Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Aliens of Exceptional Ability- Section 203(b)(2)(A) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)(2)(A)) is amended by striking ‘paragraph (1),’ and inserting ‘paragraphs (1), (6), and (7),’.

(d) Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers- Section 203(b)(3)(A) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)(3)(A)) is amended by striking ‘paragraphs (1) and (2),’ and inserting ‘paragraphs (1), (2), (6), and (7),’.

HR 2131 also lets an additional 10,000 foreigners get a visa to start a business in the US. This at a time where 1.3 million US business owners have lost their business (according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data since 2009) and are not being helped to start a new one. Not exactly the job growth that has been promised by politicians since the 2008 Recession began.

In Section 105 FAMILY-SPONSORED IMMIGRANT VISAS – it increases the number of visas for foreign families, without regard to STEM jobs. The SKILLS Visa Act even helps let students, who are actually working a temp job, to bring their families – because the DREAM Act is very clear on what happens to the children of these immigrants after they stay in the US beyond the visa timeframe [SEC. 205. STUDENTS].

Perhaps the best part of the HR 2131 is the fact that it will justify increasing competition for STEM jobs by providing an additional $225,000 to each State – in the best case scenario, if all 50 States request the money – to be used for STEM education. A pittance compared to the cost of education, even worse if the cost of a STEM higher degree is considered.

Overall, Rep. Hanna as done nothing to help those unemployed in the New York 22nd Congressional District to find a job. He has not improved conditions for small business (except for baseball collectibles). He is actively helping foreign workers get jobs, and bring their families – conditions that are the root of the problem today and the justification for the DREAM Act. Rep. Hanna is also actively increasing competition for STEM jobs, now and in the future, at a time when his constituents are well above the national average for unemployment, and below the State average for pay.

Does this represent what you want from Congress? Is this what you were thinking of when Rep. Richard Hanna was re-elected? Does this job performance improve your confidence in Congress and Government?

If not, you can donate for a better option. I’m Michael Vasquez, and like everyone in the NY-22 I expect more from a representative in Congress. It’s time we get it.

Syria: Timeline in Tweets and Facebook comments

In just a matter of weeks, the Unites States has taken a curious path with regard to Syria and the use of chemical weapons. From a “red line” clearly defined by President Obama alone, to the question of attack (and if congressional approval is necessary), to blunders by Secretary of State Kerry that created a diplomatic resolution. Through out the course of these events public opinion has remained steadfast in opposition as a justification and plan of action failed to be presented to the American (and British and German) people.

The following are a series of tweets (@electvasquezny) and Facebook comments ( presenting some of the thoughts and views during this political drama. Included are key events that occurred along this timeline. For a history of key events in Syria since 1918 (from a British perspective) you can review this BBC News summary.

***Note that for the New York 22nd Congressional District Representative Richard Hanna, along with 15 other NY members of Congress, did not make any position on Syria throughout the proposed conflict. While overwhelming opposition from the public was in place, Rep. Hanna could not determine if standing by constituents or the leaders of the Party was correct course of action.

While this has currently resolved itself, the question of where Rep. Hanna – and the other members of Congress for New York (and other parts of the nation) that chose to sit on the fence – stands on this and similar issues remains unclear and perhaps implies political self-preservation as opposed to the best interests of the nation or representation of the public.***

August 21, 2013 – An alleged chemical attack took place at Ein Tarma and Zamalka in Syria. After initial confusion, blame for the attack was placed on the Syrian Government lead by President Assad. Syria has consistently denied the use of chemical weapons.

August 28, 2013 – President Obama states in an interview with Judy Woodruff that he has not decided what to do about Syria –

“JUDY WOODRUFF: But Mr. President, with all due respect, what does it accomplish? I mean, you’re – the signals the American people are getting is that this would be a limited strike or of limited duration. If it’s not going to do that much harm to the Assad regime, what have you accomplished? How – what – what’s changed?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, Judy, again, I have not made a decision, but I think it’s important that if, in fact, we make a choice to have repercussions for the use of chemical weapons, then the Assad regime, which is involved in a civil war, trying to protect itself, will have received a pretty strong signal, that in fact, it better not do it again. And that doesn’t solve all the problems inside of Syria, and, you know, it doesn’t, obviously end the death of innocent civilians inside of Syria.”

‏@JazzShaw 28 Aug
I assume Joe Biden will be opening impreachment proceedings if Obama bombs Syria w/o congressional resolution in support?
Retweeted by Michael Vasquez

‏@MVConsult 28 Aug
If regime change not the point of dropping bombs on Syria, why bother?

@SenRandPaul 28 Aug
@BarackObama in 2007: POTUS lacks authority to unilaterally authorize military attack w/o imminent threat to nation
Retweeted by Michael Vasquez

August 29, 2013 – British Prime Minister David Cameron’s support of a military strike against Syria is voted down,

“…it was clear that parliament did not want to see a military strike on Syria to punish it for chemical weapons use and that he would act accordingly.”

@electvasquezny 29 Aug
So why hasn’t Rep Hanna joined the call to have Pres Obama get authority from Congress for Syria along w 100 Repubs …

@electvasquezny 29 Aug
Will Syria be another foreign policy flip-flop for Rep Hanna, like Libya? …

@electvasquezny 29 Aug
Apparently the British can’t see a point in bombing Syria that benefits them, so why is President Obama pushing for it when America is same.

August 30, 2013 – President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry try to make case for a military strike on Syria, resistance is noted internationally as well as domestically.

“In Washington, questions about the veracity of the U.S. intelligence and whether the nation is headed for another long war based on false information — like happened in Iraq — have emerged from both parties in Congress.”

‏@MVConsult 30 Aug
I still am unclear what US national interest is affected by a Syrian internal conflict. And why are economic sanctions off the table?

‏@electvasquezny 30 Aug
50% don’t want US involved w Syria (NBC poll), 80% want Congress approval, US intel still unsure of details, British are out. Time to pause

@electvasquezny 30 Aug
Can anyone recall the last time Britian didn’t support, even grudgingly, a military action by US?

@electvasquezny 30 Aug
In dictionaries, under examples of feckless you can see the following: ‘See Obama Syria bombing plan’

Michael Vasquez – August 30 via mobile [Facebook]
Britain has supported every military action by US that I recall, even if they didn’t like it. But on Syria they are out, and the powerhouse of France is backing us. When was the last time France won a military action? Napoleon? Is this really the only support we are getting. Shouldn’t this give pause as maybe something is wrong.

I think you can find the answer on what to do about Syria in the following quote from December 20, 2007…

“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

As commander-in-chief, the president does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the president would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.”

August 31, 2013 – France steps up as a supporter of a military strike against Syria. President Obama takes first steps to get Congress to authorize a military strike,

“In a dramatic turnaround, President Obama said Saturday that he will wait for congressional authorization to punish Syria for a chemical weapons attack, even though he has decided a military strike is needed.”

Blog article – The Syria questions

September 1, 2013 – Syria responds to US actions,

“Syria hailed a “historic American retreat” on Sunday, mockingly accusing President Barack Obama of hesitation and confusion after he delayed a military response to last month’s chemical weapons attack near Damascus to consult Congress.”

September 2, 2013 – Pending vote on Syria in Senate stirs comments,

“We cannot make this about the president versus Congress or him shuffling off responsibility,” Mr. Rogers, the Michigan Republican, said Sunday on “State of the Union” on CNN. “We can have all of those debates at another time. This is really about the credibility of the United States of America standing up for an antiproliferation and use of chemical and biological weapons.”

September 3, 2013 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the resolution (10 – 7) that authorizes a limited military response, comedian (and noted Liberal) Jon Stewart expressed a backlash against President Obama and the plan on his Daily Show program. President Obama to travel overseas to Stockholm on the 4th.

‏@pewresearch 3 Sep
Few See U.S. Military Action Discouraging Chemical Weapons Use
Retweeted by Michael Vasquez

‏@MVConsult 3 Sep
1,400 dead Syrians = moral imperative for US. In Darfur 1.2 million dead, 250,000 refugees, over more than 8 yrs = nothing.

@electvasquezny 3 Sep
So what are the odds of the Nobel asking for the peace prize back when President Obama is in Sweden? And yes I know it was Oslo.

Michael Vasquez shared a link. – September 3 [Facebook]
74% believe this will cause a backlash against US and 61% think it won’t stop chemical weapons use. So is it really worth helping the President save face?

September 4, 2013 – President Obama tries to shift pressure on Syria from his “red line” to the international community, and fails to win support – “While Obama may have had some justification for drawing that line based on international conventions, the decision to tie U.S. military involvement to Assad using chemical weapons was Obama’s red line.” Russian President Vladimir Putin expresses pending opposition to the US on Syria during upcoming G20 talks,

“We have our ideas about what we will do and how we will do it in case the situation develops toward the use of force or otherwise. We have our plans.”

@MVConsult 4 Sep
Bold statement from Rep Hanna on Syria – ‘I’m definitely standing on the fence’

@electvasquezny 4 Sep
Can Rep Hanna be any less decisive on Syria? Or is taking a stand too politically definitive for his arbitrary standards?

@electvasquezny 4 Sep
Leadership is not about winning every battle or being right in every debate, its about decisiveness in the face of ambiguity. Rep Hanna?

@electvasquezny 4 Sep
Shockingly at 1:38pm Secrty Kerry went 2 for 2 on comparisons to nazi concentration camps killings. What arw the odds he will try another?

Michael Vasquez shared a link. September 4 [Facebook]
A statement saying you (Rep Richard Hanna) have no statement is just an attempt to look good as you waste taxpayers money. Pick a side on Syria, that you believe is right, and explain why you think that. Constituents will let you know if they agree.

Michael Vasquez September 4 via mobile [Facebook]
Sect Kerry dodged completely the timeframe and scope of potential Syria attack, and any potential consequence as asked by Rep Smith of NJ. He didn’t even try to acknowledge the question. @ 1:24pm. Does that mean there is no plan or projections? Or is it trying to maintain a sembance military secrets on a very public action?

Michael Vasquez September 4 via mobile [Facebook]
Secty Kerry response to Rep Chabot of OH on difference of Syria to Libya @ 1:32pm, was the imminent threat to life – they why has there been no action on Darfur in past 8 years. Or do 1.2 million dead not count to President Obama in his concern about saving lives?

‏@MVConsult 4 Sep
Seriously, vote on Syria is not partisan but about best interest of America and our plan of action. How can a Congressman not have opinion?

Mike Vass September 4 via DROID [Facebook]
Seriously, vote on Syria is not partisan but about best interest of America and our plan of action. How can a Congressman not have opinion?

September 5, 2013Opposition in House of Representative to a military strike on Syria is notable – even with both Dem and Republican leadership support of President Obama,

“If the House voted today on a resolution to attack Syria, President Barack Obama would lose — and lose big.”

Blog article – What’s the worst position to have on Syria?

Michael Vasquez shared a link via Mike Vass. September 5 [Facebook]
Issues of this magnitude have grave consequences, and political opportunism can never benefit the average American. More than ever, moments like this define the future of the nation and thus require those strong enough to stand up and take a stance they believe is both correct and worthy. Only in making strong arguments, and fighting for the best outcome can America walk a path to tomorrow with confidence it has done the right thing.

September 6, 2013 – Syrian rebels attack US – Russia deal on chemical weapons –

“America told the world it would bomb Syria and then, when the time came, it got scared,” said Abdelqaderi Asasheh, operations chief of the Liwa al-Tawhid brigade in Aleppo.”

September 7, 2013White House weekly address on limited military action in Syria.

September 8, 2013 – Syrian President Assad warns of retaliation from any US military action,

“You should expect everything,” Assad said in an interview with CBS taped in Damascus. “Not necessarily from the government. It’s not only the government … in this region. You have different parties, you have different factions, you have different ideology.”

September 9, 2013 – Secretary Kerry offers rhetorical resolution to Syria to avoid military strike. Secretary Kerry also describes any US military action as “unbelievably small”“We will be able to hold Bashar al-Assad accountable without engaging in troops on the ground or any other prolonged kind of effort in a very limited, very targeted, short-term effort that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons without assuming responsibility for Syria’s civil war. That is exactly what we are talking about doing – unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”

President Obama acknowledges may lose congressional support of military strikes,

“Battling stiff resistance in Congress, President Barack Obama conceded Monday night he might lose his fight for congressional support of a military strike against Syria, and declined to say what he would do if lawmakers reject his call to back retaliation for a chemical weapons attack last month.”

Michael Vasquez September 9 via mobile [Facebook]
So what does the Obama administration do now that, as the President seeks to create support for what most see as (and Secretary Kerry described) a useless show of force, Kerry has given Syria an out? Ignore the diplomatic solution that they offered? Or push forward on an attack that has no support on all sides, national and international (France doesn’t count)?

‏@MVConsult 9 Sep
Amazing how an option in Syria is available once the Obama Admin mentions it and does not assume the answer

September 10, 2013 – President Obama speaks to American public, trying to gain support for military strikes as Russia moves on Secretary Kerry’s rhetorical offer.

September 11, 2013 – President Obama places congressional approval on hold, as Russia and Syria indicate support for Secretary Kerry’s rhetorical offer.

Fred Thompson ‏@fredthompson 11 Sep
Kerry:Syria attack would be an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort”. Oh… like the State Department’s Benghazi investigation? #tcot
Retweeted by Michael Vasquez

Michael Vasquez likes an article on POLITICO. September 11 [Facebook]
Good translation of of the polispeak in the speech – What President Obama said, what he meant

Michael Vasquez September 11 via mobile [Facebook]
Much to the relief of Rep Richard Hanna and 15 other members of Congress representing NY State, the question of bombing Syria is off the table – for now. These members have been rewarded for sitting on the fence. No longer do they need to justify why they would not support the overwhelming view of their constituents, nor stand with their Party leadership. Each has preserved their re-election hopes, but will voters recall thier lack of intestinal fortitude?

September 12, 2013 – US and Russia start talks with Syria on turnover of chemical weapons.

@electvasquezny 12 Sep
If report cited by WSJ correct and N Korea is starting plutonium reactor, will Pres O bomb them? Doesn’t Syria policy mandate response?

Michael Vasquez September 12 via mobile [Facebook]
The problem with how Syria has showcased a weak and confused US stance may be realized, if as Wall Street Journal article suggests, North Korea is activating plutonium reactor. Isn’t that a more credible US national interest and threat? Will Pres Obama suggest bombing N Korea, and is the assumption that the US is impotent spurring this action?

‏@MVConsult 12 Sep
If US ignores first 100,000 Syrian dead & 1.2 mill Darfur but alleged chem use = bombing then what is policy on N Korea and plutonium?

September 14, 2013 – Deal reached on Syrian chemical weapons, plan to take place by mid-2014. President Obama states military option still possible if deal fails.

“If diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to act.”

Twitter posts from August 2013 – @electvasquezny

The following can be found on my Twitter account (@electvasquezny – ask to be added to be up to date daily) from the month of June 2013:

There are issues and events from day to day that there is just not enough time to expand on, or are complete in just a short message. Twitter is an excellent format to provide and share comments and thoughts of this nature. But not everyone is on Twitter. Thus, from time to time, this blog will provide several of these commentaries and musings.

1 Aug ‏@electvasquezny

If NSA XKeyscore program collects “large amount of information” that is “never reviewed” as the 2009 NSA report says, why keep it?

Would you allow FBI or NSA to stay in your house and record your activities? How is NSA programs any different?


2 Aug @electvasquezny

Interesting that Rep Hanna (NY-22) says he supports limits on NSA, but is NOT cosponsor of …: – HR 2399

Amazing how 20,000 fewer jobs than expected for july and unemployment rate drops.

Did anyone else notice that long-term unemployed percentage dropped but short-term increased. …

@whitehouse @BarackObama as opposed to just repealing the inclusion of Congress and their aides? Double standard indeed.


5 Aug @electvasquezny

Why didn’t press ask Rep. Hanna to explain his voting record to constituents today? How truely credible is his support for small biz?

AZ Dem Gubernatorial Candidate Darkens Skin for Commercials to Appear Hispanic via @BreitbartNews This is insulting! Some get it, others just want to discredit valid concerns they don’t want to address. Guess which is Rep Rangel.


6 Aug @electvasquezny

@BarackObama missing key word in statement – “LEGAL”


7 Aug @electvasquezny

@politico then why is the Government keeping all the data on tens of millions of Americans?


9 Aug @electvasquezny

What are the Obamacare numbers for the NY-22?

What happens when Congress fails to read laws? Cities, Counties and employers scramble to the detriment of public. …

Just got voiceover artist Jimmyjohn McCabe on board for the commercials. With a few more donations, the ads will be up across the NY-22


10 Aug @electvasquezny

@IngrahamAngle That does sound like Rep Richard Hanna NY-22 (R)

Pres. Obama talks NSA, Rep. Hanna visits Southern Tier, and the net result is?


12 Aug ‏@electvasquezny

I will be speaking on the Bob Joseph Show on WNBF on 8/19 @ 9:30am. Tune in and share the news.

I wonder if Pres. Obama would speak to the only person exploring a run for Congress in Broome County? Nah, I’m a black hispanic conservative


20 Aug @electvasquezny

@JazzShaw of course, otherwise he might be asked to explain the failure to focus on jobs in an area with above national level unemployment.

@AP so at this point, now that media is focused elsewhere, one one being held accountable for what happened in Benghazi. Wag the dog indeed.


21 Aug @electvasquezny

@JazzShaw he deserved to be shot. He violated his oath and damaged the nation during wartime. 35 years is not enough.

@CNN and Rep Hanna voted NOT to restrict NSA. Somehow I don’t think constituents would agree.


22 Aug @electvasquezny

So is Pres. Obama proposing Govt will pick winners in college education like it picked “green” companies? Which college will be a Solyndra?


23 Aug @electvasquezny

Former Maj Nidal Hasan, like prvt manning, deserves death penalty.


28 Aug @electvasquezny

Pres Obama restricts our guns, mandates our purchase, violates immigration law, and bombs nations – all without Congress. But Bush is bad?

@electvasquezny Ok, obamacare was with a Dem supermajority that didn’t read the law. That was sort of with Congress. I stand corrected.


29 Aug @electvasquezny

@WSJ interesting how much economy inproves without weight of stimulus as a drag

So why hasn’t Rep Hanna joined the call to have Pres Obama get authority from Congress for Syria along w 100 Repubs …

Will Syria be another foreign policy flip-flop for Rep Hanna, like Libya? …

Apparently the British can’t see a point in bombing Syria that benefits them, so why is President Obama pushing for it when America is same.


30 Aug @electvasquezny

50% don’t want US involved w Syria (NBC poll), 80% want Congress approval, US intel still unsure of details, British are out. Time to pause

Can anyone recall the last time Britian didn’t support, even grudgingly, a military action by US?

In dictionaries, under examples of feckless you can see the following: ‘See Obama Syria bombing plan’

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