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Our future, our voices, and your vote

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

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

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

    Given those predictions, the reality is amazing on target.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    National attention is firmly focused on this race.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sincerely

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

  • Press Release – Michael Vasquez to exit NY-22 congressional race

    For immediate release
    For questions or comment please contact 6072429247
    ********************************************

    Binghamton, NY – 4/2/14
    a4-2.jpg

    After a year of effort to draw attention to the inconsistent votes, flip-flops on issues, and contradictions in public statements that have been the signature of the tenure of Rep. Richard Hanna, Conservative Republican Michael Vasquez will be stepping aside to allow a focused and unified effort to unseat the self admitted Moderate.

    Mr. Vasquez stated,

    “Once Assemblywoman Tenney joined the election, I took some time to re-evaluate the political landscape, setting aside my ego and focusing on the best result for the public. My conclusion was that a race between the incumbent, Assemblywoman Tenney and myself would fracture the vote – which is to the disadvantage of the District. Thus I am devoting my voice and efforts to a unified challenge under the banner of a consistent, clear, accountable candidate that holds the same convictions and priorities that I and the people of the NY-22 hold – Assemblywoman Tenney.”

    Mr. Vasquez, a small business owner and political commentator further stated,

    “This is not a loss for me, nor is this a victory for Rep. Hanna. In exiting the Republican Primary for the New York 22nd Congressional District I am helping Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney achieve the goal that motivated me to run for this elected office – defeating an incumbent that has little connection to the public he is sworn to represent.”

    Michael Vasquez is a former Marine Reservist, former stockbroker, current auto insurance agent, and small business owner that has engaged in political commentary for almost a decade. In April 2013 He created an exploratory committee, and determined that a significant portion of the NY-22 disagreed with the incumbent on the issues and votes the incumbent has taken. In November 2013 Mr. Vasquez announced his run for the NY-22 congressional seat on the Republican ticket.

    Though no longer a candidate, Mr. Vasquez intends to continue to fight for an accountable Congress, and repeal of laws – like Obamacare and the NY Safe Act – that have been forced upon a public that never wanted them. Mr. Vasquez will be speaking at an anti-NY Safe Act rally on April 12th.

    Media bias in the NY-22 mid-term elections

    To the management of WIBX 950AM,

    I am writing this letter in regard to my interview on 3/27/14 at 7:20am, on the Keeler in the Morning program on your station WIBX 950AM.

    I am a candidate for the NY 22nd Congressional District, and as such I have had well over a dozen news media interviews, as well as speeches with questions & answers and private conversations with various political organizations where I have been grilled for literally hours on every aspect of the congressional race. In all cases I have never encountered the apparent bias that has occurred on this program.

    While I cannot confirm how this program was heard live, I have listened to the interview posted on your website for the public. That recording makes it clear that my answers were edited, either live or in post-production, to limit the information that I believe is vital for voters and the general public in this election. It is an obvious and crude manipulation, the reason for which is unknown to me – nor that I care about.

    WIBX 950AM, Keeler in the Morning

    Keeler in the Morning


    Let me be clear – the recording provided via your website active displays that my a portion of my answers were muted or otherwise cut off as I was speaking, the track overlaid with Mr. Keeler speaking, and then returns to me continuing to speak to the question asked. That is manipulation of the highest order and is beneath the quality of service I am sure you try to provide your audience.

    I am not afraid of relevant questions asked of me. I am an advocate of the public making their own choice in this critical primary that will likely decide the congressional Representative for the NY-22. But I am livid when an interviewer unilaterally decides what content the public can or cannot receive in response to a question that is being asked of a candidate.

    This action is a disservice to the public, and apparently may be a reflection of favoritism of Mr. Keeler for the incumbent. While I have no concern for what political preferences Mr. Keeler may have, it is a type of violation of the 1st Amendment to impose his preferences on the public and an insult to me as a candidate.

    I will NOT accept another interview with Mr. Keeler, though I am open to interviews with any other member of your staff and organization. While it is your right to employ whomever you wish, it is my right to decline to support actions and/or individuals that I feel are deceptive and against the public good.

    I hold no ill will to you or your radio station. I would ask that Mr. Keeler admit his actions, and publicly apologize for his apparent manipulation and deception against the public. Even if this action is taken, I will not interview with him again on any matter as I feel I cannot trust his character or intentions.

    Sincerely

    Michael Vasquez
    Candidate for the NY 22nd Congressional District, 2014

    ** I have made this letter public as the actions taken directly affect the public, and they deserve to be aware of this. I will happily provide equal public notice of any response you request or provide to this letter. **

    Sent to: Jeff Monaski, WIBX Program Director; Karen Carey, WIBX General Manager; TownSquare Media Corporate offices

    Press Release: Assemblywoman Tenney enters NY-22 congressional race

    For Immediate Release
    From the campaign of Michael Vasquez for Congress – contact 6072429247 for comment or questions
    ************************************************************

    On 3/26/14 Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney announced that she officially has entered the race for the NY 22nd Congressional District. This now means that there are 4 potential candidates, in a race that has no Democrat challenger.

    At this time there is no Democrat announced or seeking petitions to our knowledge. This elevates the June 24th primary vote to a de facto election – the winner of which will be the presumptive Representative in Congress for the district.

    We feel that Assemblywoman Tenney joining the race only emphasizes the position that candidate Michael Vasquez has made since announcing his exploration committee in April 2013. The New York 22nd district is in need of an accountable voice in Congress that reflects the views of the public and is consistent in supporting the core values of constituents.

    Candidate Vasquez stated,

    “I count as a success the entrance of Assemblywoman Tenney into this race. The bar has been raised and the attention on this race, both across the State and nationally, has increased exponentially. Rep. Hanna can no longer try to avoid discussing the issues and flip-flopping on his positions.”

    Michael Vasquez went on to state,

    “I will evaluate this change in the political landscape, with a focus on what is the best opportunity for the people of the NY-22 to receive the leadership and strength of convictions that are currently absent our congressional seat, in my opinion. This has never been about ego, and my decisions going forward will be based solely on what is best for the nation and the people of the district.”

    Michael Vasquez created an exploratory committee on a potential run for the NY 22nd Congressional seat in April 2013. November 18, 2013 Mr. Vasquez announced in Binghamton and Utica his intention to officially run for this elected office. Since that time he has spoke to news media (nationally and statewide) and the public on getting out the vote to improve the representation in Congress for the NY-22.

    Press release – 2/19/14 – Response to Broome County GOP endorsement

    On Feb 18th Broome County GOP Chairman Bijoy Data announced the endorsement of Rep. Richard Hanna in the 2014 Congressional race. What Chairman Data failed to tell the public was that they made this decisions with blatant disregard for the choices available.

    Broome County GOP has received no less than 12 attempts to contact them since April 2013. That includes mail, email, phone call messages, and visits to their office on Court Street Binghamton. It also includes direct statements from members of the Broome GOP, clearly indicating that candidate Michael Vasquez merely wished to speak about why he is running and what he hopes to offer constituents.

    Vasquez1449
    Mr. Vasquez has presented his reasons for running to virtually all GOP and Conservative Party committees, or is scheduled to do so, in the Counties of the New York 22nd District. Only Broome, and so far Oneida County, have failed to extend this courtesy, and denied the public a viable choice for 2014.

    Mr. Vasquez stated,

    “While I respect the choice made to endorse my opponent, I believe that the failure to even hear what concerns I and many members of the GOP and public have is a serious error on the part of Broome and Oneida County. The public has a right to be presented options, and to make a choice on who can best provide the accountability and consistency that is missing in Congress today.”

    Mr. Vasquez went on to say,

    “I thank Chairman Data for contacting me, after making a unilateral endorsement without firsthand knowledge and after I spoke about his decision to the news media earlier today. I am continuing my well-received efforts to challenge, and beat, my opponent for a host of reasons that I believe are well publicized by the national media and known by constituents in the NY-22.”

    March starts the petition season for Congress and 1250 signatures are needed for the Republican ballot. 321 signatures are needed, as well as the endorsement of the Conservative Party that has pulled support from Rep. Hanna since 2012, for the Conservative ballot. The campaign of Michael Vasquez for Congress feels very confident that they will garner more than enough signatures to be on the ballots.

    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.

    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 www.MichaelVasquezforCongress.com

    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

    …and Obamacare will fix it all

    One of the great problems in politics today is not the laws that are being passed, though many are quite troubling. It’s not the partisanship that has gridlocked Congress, though that is pervasive and adds to the problem. It’s the fact that there is no consideration of the consequences of what is being shoved into law.

    Obamacare is of course a great example. Here we have a partisan law, passes without being read, that the public has never wanted, touted as the great fix to healthcare insurance woes. So far, the website cost 3x it’s initial estimate and is inferior to similar sites by 10 years of technology. Millions are finding out that “affordable” is a relative term, rarely matching the hype that this law has been surrounded by. Hundreds of thousands are quickly learning that keeping the insurance and doctors they have and like is not an option – or when it is, it is too expensive to be realistic.

    Is this because healthcare reform was a bad idea? NO. Was it because of the partisan gridlock? Partially, as excluding reform ideas from across the isle limits the effectiveness of any law. Is it because partisan ideology demanded that politicians not pause for a moment to reflect (or read) what they were doing. The consequences of their actions were of no concern in the face of getting it done. Mere years later and already havoc is starting to play out, with no end in sight of how long the dominoes will fall.

    All of that, and the worst consequence of all. Partisanship sold the Rights of America on the cheap. A precedent has been made that Government has a Right above the people. If the Government can make everyone do one thing, it can make them do anything. Maybe not this Administration, or even the next, but eventually it will happen because absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Still, this is not the only example. Look at the Obama Stimulus, which was another speedy race to pass a law that few understood the scope of. In June of 2009 it was found, by the Associated Press, that food was literally being taken out of the mouths of the public.

    “People are finding out that because of the extra $25 they cannot decline, calculations made including this money is placing Americans over the Government limits for food stamps and other forms of aid. The range of the loss is unknown (and likely to remain so), but the AP provided an example – costing a family $300 in food stamps they now cannot receive.”

    Perhaps the best example is all the bluster about the national debt. Each side keeps talking about how devastating the cuts are and how big a cut is being made. Except they leave out that the cuts are reductions in the future increases in spending. And even then Congress tries to find ways to spend money it doesn’t have and evade laws it put in place to prevent spending more. If you think that anyone is being honest on the debt, try and find one person who has stated the impact of interest rates increasing to just the level since 1980′s (4.25%). You won’t find that in any plan of debt reduction – which is odd since it will nearly overnight add several trillions of dollars to the debt, assuming not another dime is spent.

    The problem is that Government thinks it can fix it all. Congress thinks that enough short-term fixes will patch up any problem forever. More than a few elected officials are quite happy riding the fence on issue after issue, making a few well placed comments to keep constituents in the dark and their re-election secure; knowing full well that at some point it will be time to pay the reaper. Except that politician won’t be around to worry about it, apparently they hope.

    If all you want are 30-second soundbites, the headline is all you need from this commentary. You can vote for whatever politician makes the best empty promise you like – such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s, ‘You need to pass it to find out what’s in it.’ If you think that Government is filled with people endowed by an election with knowledge that surpasses the norm, simply because they won, there are plenty of politicians that act as if they are nobility (like Sen. Schumer for one example) that you can vote for.

    But be prepared. Voter apathy combined with the political ambitions of too many in Congress have led to consequences that we are really not able to kick down the road without consequence any more. Our credit rating is in danger, our energy independence is questionable, our freedoms are eroding, and our economic stability is in jeopardy. If you believe that simply fixing the bugs on a website will resolve the holes in Obamacare, you really won’t like what probably will happen over then next several years.

    Politicians are not soothsayers, nor should they try to be. But reasonable attempts to think more than 1 election down the road, combined with taking the time to pass laws that are actually meaningful and what voters want isn’t too much to expect. Having a Congressman that can actually take a position and stand by it would be a nice change in the New York 22nd Congressional District as an example; and if that Representative could also try to pass a law that might benefit constituents and the nation, well that would be a night worthy of fireworks.

    Until voters take on politicians and vote out those that are the worst in preserving their power at the cost of quick fix gimmicks and finger-pointing, dominoes will fall where we least expect them, leaving us a weaker and less great nation.

    It doesn’t have to be like that. We can have better laws, better Representatives and Senators. We can have a better Government that is smaller and more controlled. All we need to do is vote.

    ***Michael Vasquez is exploring a run for the New York 22nd Congressional District in 2014.***

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