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Our future, our voices, and your vote

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

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

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

    Given those predictions, the reality is amazing on target.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    National attention is firmly focused on this race.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sincerely

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

  • Rep. 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.

  • Press release – 2/11/14 – Debt ceiling passed ‘clean’

    With an abruptness rarely seen in fiscal debates over the past several years, the House of Representatives passed a “clean” debt ceiling increase that will negate the need for further discussion on the issue until 2015. The Bill passed with only 28 Republican votes, and all but 10 Democrats.

    Of the 28 votes that came from Republicans, Rep. Richard Hanna was again among those that broke from the main voice of Republicans – as he did in October and since. In fact his separation from the main body of Republicans in the House has gained traction in much of the mainstream media that are now correctly labeling Rep. Hanna as a moderate – as opposed to his “conservative” stance that enabled his election to Congress in 2010.

    meet and greet in Vestal NY, at home of attorney James Sacco

    coffee and doughnuts meet and greet in Vestal NY

    NY-22 candidate Michael Vasquez had this statement on the vote,

    “It is a shame to see that the debt ceiling passed in the manner it has. Not only does this vote stall the previous slight move towards accountability and responsibility with regard to the national debt, as there is no limit to the amount of increased debt that the nation can attain with this Bill, but by is vagaries it reverses that budding trend.”

    Candidate Vasquez went on to say,

    “If the apparent abandonment of fiscal responsibility were not enough, the salt in the wound is the continued existence of military pension cuts – sure to affect constituents of the NY-22 around Fort Drum (Herkimer County) and retirees from Griffiss Air Force Base (now under civilian use as Griffiss International Airport – Onieda County) as well as vets across the rest of the District. Our military retirees deserve better than the targeted attack on their benefits, that this ‘clean’ debt ceiling deal apparently cements in place. I would not have voted for this ‘clean’ Bill.”

    The cut in military pensions was part of the Ryan-Murray budget deal enacted at the beginning of the year. That deal immediately increased Government spending by $63 billion, as opposed to the $43 billion saved via the Sequester requirements of 2013. To pay for that increased spending, in part, military pensions were targeted. Rep. Hanna was among those that voted for this deal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Michael Vasquez: Always

    (laughter)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Michael Vasquez: Hey Frank.

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

    Michael Vasquez: Sure.

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

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

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

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

    Mark P: um hmm

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

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

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

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

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

    (laughter from DJ’s)

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

    Mark P: OK

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

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

    Frank: Is that M V or N V

    Mark P: M V

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

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

    Michael Vasquez: Yes.

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

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

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

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

    Mark P: Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Mark P: Yeah, Frank. I even forgot.

    Frank: The other one was raising the debt ceiling.

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

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

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

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

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

    Mark P: Yup.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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