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Rep. Hanna asked NY-22 to look at his record, here is what I found…

On May 2, 2014, Rep. Richard Hanna asked Republican voters listening to WIBX to review his record and decide who to vote for in the June 24th NY Primary, which without a Democrat running is effectively the congressional election.

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

I took his advice, and this is what I found:

  1. Since 2010, Rep. Hanna has passed 2 commemorative coin Bills, and named a post office (from 2011 to present).

  2. Every other Bill that Rep. Hanna has created since 2011 is dead in the water with no significant support from Dems or Republicans – including the non-partisan Bill to give reservist who died serving our nation at war gravestones.

Going no further, that raises the question of just how effective Rep. Hanna is in Congress. But moving on… Rep. Hanna is also ambivalent, and flip-flops, on a lot of major issues.

According to the record, he has taken both sides on restricting the NSA. He has said he opposes abortion, but voted to support late-term abortions. He supports STEM jobs for Americans but is pushing to give 160,000 STEM jobs to foreign students instead of American students.

But what does Rep. Hanna do when it really matters?

  • With the debate over the 1st Amendment on the line in 2012, via the Stop Online Piracy Act, Rep. Hanna had no opinion beyond listening to the debate.
  • With Syria, as President Obama sought to grab greater power and push America into a unilateral war, Rep. Hanna had no opinion until the issue was over.
  • After 40 votes on Obamacare – that Rep. Hanna has called “ceremonial” (as seen on Youtube) – when it mattered in 2013, he voted with Democrats to fund Obamacare without condition.
      He has also attacked the alternatives provided by Republicans since 2011.
  • While claiming to be fiscally responsible, Rep. Hanna voted to cut military pensions and provide Democrats with unlimited debt ceiling increases in spending, January 2014.
  • With the revelation of the White House lying to the public on Benghazi, as proven by a recent email disclosed this week, Rep. Hanna – according to his statements live on-air on May 2nd – either has no idea what is going on, or just agrees with former Secretary Hillary Clinton.

    So with just a cursory view of Rep. Hanna’s record, I conclude:

    1. Rep. Hanna has justified his rating as the 3rd most Liberal Republican in Congress (he calls himself a moderate).

    2. His talk of the benefit to constituents from his support for Democrats and their issues does not exist.
    3. He actively supports issues that his constituents oppose.
    4. Rep. Hanna supports a “bandwagoning” approach to his work in Congress – he says and does almost nothing until he can safely jump on the winning side of an issue, regardless of constituent opinion.

    When I look at the record, I see a New York City Democrat on the Upstate NY Republican ballot. I see someone who is either ineffective in the job, or otherwise inconsiderate of representing the voters that elected him.

    Thus I support Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney. Because she is the only consistent, accountable, voice of voters in the NY 22nd Congressional race.

    But don’t take my word for it.

    Follow the request of Rep. Hanna and actually look at his record yourself. Then ask yourself, are these votes and public comments reflecting the core values of the Republican Party? Is this action, and inaction, representing your values in Congress?

    Then go vote in the NY 22nd congressional district primary for Congress on June 24th.

  • Rep. Richard Hanna attacks with “bait & switch” tactic to avoid voters

    What do you do if you are an incumbent with a record of attacking your own Party, voting against the wishes of constituents, and supporting job creation for foreigners over Americans? In the case of Rep. Richard Hanna, you avoid any public instance of defending your record and instead try to distract voters. A classic bait and switch manuever, one of the very worst of immoral sales tactics.

    To be clear, on 4/21/14, WNBF News Radio and Time Warner Cable invited Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney and the incumbent to debate the issues. This is a critical offer as there is no Democrat in the race and whomever wins the NY Primary on June 24th will defacto be the next Representative in Congress for the NY 22nd Congressional District.

    Assemblywoman Tenney accepted. Rep. Richard Hanna made no comment. Until April 24th. That when he went on the offensive in an offense to voters.

    Rep. Hanna chose to try to steer the discussion away from the issue at hand, which is his voting record and positions he has taken. Instead he has attacked Claudia Tenney about doing her job as an Assemblywoman. He has tried to shift the race for the NY-22 to a race for the 101st Assembly seat – which is not even in question at this time.

    Hidden deep in the attack on Tenney was the following response about the actual issue, the debates, “A Hanna spokesperson says the Congressman has neither officially accepted nor refused the offer to debate.”

    Neither refused or accepted? Which is it? Why is there such ambivalence?

    Still, the response is not shocking. Rep. Hanna took the same stance in the summer of 2014, while the nation and the world took a position on the unilateral actions of President Obama and Syria. At the time I stated,

    “[Hanna] is 1 of 2 Republicans, and 1 of 16 members of Congress representing New York State, that have clearly stated they have no position on the issue at this time.

    When the use-of-force resolution is finalized, I will review it closely to determine whether or not actions enabled by it advance vital interests of the United States and are in the best interest of upstate New Yorkers” – Rep. Richard Hanna 9/4/13

    …@electvasquezny – “Leadership is not about winning every battle or being right in every debate, its about decisiveness in the face of ambiguity.”

    Of course Rep. Hanna learned from his honest portrayal of his bandwagoning attempt in 2013. Thus we see that in 2014, rather than take a stand so that voters can actually evaluate him, he has chosen to deflect away from the issue. He is actively hiding from the voters – a sure sign in my mind that he is aware that his record will cost him the election if anyone looks at it.

    Once again Rep. Hanna assumes that the public is too dumb to see his actions for what they are, and he hopes (I believe) that they are too apathetic to take action in the Primary in June. I believe he is wrong on both counts.

    The NY-22, and America as a whole, deserve to have politicians that are willing to stand up and be accountable. Congress is rife with manipulators that are only successful at maintaining their own positions of power, and the approval rating reflects this. It is well beyond time that we see principled, consistent, accountable representation on the floor of Congress.

    The fact that Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney has a record that confirms this is a threat to the re-election of Rep. Hanna, and thus – without a record of consistency or even publicly supported positions – the Hanna campaign is resorting to dirty tricks and mudslinging.

    I think we can clearly see why he won’t take a position on a debate.

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

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

    Let me explain.

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

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

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

    Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

    Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sincerely

    Michael Vasquez

    2013: a year of forgetable triumphs and memorable failures

    2013 started the year on somber tones – the loss of children in the Sandy Hook shooting was still very fresh in the mind of the nation. Equally as memorable were the lingering questions about what happened at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. It was the beginning of the 2nd term of President Obama. The transition promised in 2007 was mere moments away, in the eyes of Liberals and fears of Conservatives.

    At the beginning of the year, Congress was at 15% approval. A rating that was well earned due to the gridlock in Washington D.C. It was not only a feature of the 1st Obama Administration, it was a guarantee to continue based on the unchanged chasm that separated the Republican led House of Representatives, the Democrat led Senate, and a President who had many promises but little to show for them.

    Thus, the year started with an assault on the 2nd Amendment. For the “good” of the nation, to “protect” our children, the President circumvented Congress and enacted 23 Executive Orders to create gun restriction laws. A use of Executive Orders that a Senator named Barack Obama denounced President G. W. Bush for even considering on 2008. Actions that even VP Biden admitted (though little covered by the major news media)

    At the same time, Congress expressed its unwillingness to do its job in regard to fiscal responsibility with the enactment of HR 8. Government spending increased, taxes increased by $41 for a mere $1 of increased spending reductions. The road to fiscal instability was set and confirmed.

    All of which meant that while Congress succeeded in avoiding the “fiscal cliff” of 2012 it failed horribly to address the long-term danger that the national debt posses to the nation. That the President succeeded in providing the delusion of safety, while failing to impede the criminal or criminally insane from their actions and yet criminalized law-abiding citizens that never posed a problem in the first place.

    If that were all that 2013 did to America it would have been bad enough. But with a steady and increasing pace we learned that it would get far worse. In fact on January 20, 2013 I made a statement that would prove to be the summation of the year

    “What is our path?

    Fiscal unsustainability, modified by international instability, adjusted for an ever growing centralized Government power on the backs of ever fewer individual freedoms and Rights, wrapped by political gridlock and a pursuit of the best intentions that lead to… well you know the saying.”

    But the specter of an immigration reform that rewarded violation of our laws edged closer to reality. A process that would continue, in ebbs and flows, throughout the year. While no final course has been set, the path that we are approaching in 2014 seems to lead to a politics backed law that negates the rule of law and needed reforms.

    Separately, North Korea followed by Syria and then Iran, all took their places at the forefront of international politics. Each with the terror of weapons of mass destruction as a critical component of how we reacted. And in order, we effectively ignored North Korea, threatened unilaterally Syria, and capitulated to Iran. Hardly actions of a strong defender of democracy across the globe. Actions that concerned, angered, and distanced our international allies while emboldening our enemies.

    In fact it can be well argued, and Israel is making that argument, that our actions have done more to destabilize world peace in the long run than even produce a short-term calm. Chemical weapons are (allegedly) being used by those we supported in Syria, North Korea continues to advance its nuclear arms, and Iran seems destined to become a nuclear power sooner than later (though their promises of a lack of interest in nuclear bombs belies the untruth they have proven to speak in past promises).

    On the fringe of all these major headlines (not even to the middle of the year for most of this) there was the terrifying question of what our Government is doing with Drones – aerial unmanned vehicles. We learned early on that our Government sought, and possibly gained approval from the DOJ, to kill U.S. citizens abroad – via drone strikes and without trial or forewarning – for actions they may or may not even be aware of. An issue that was sadly forgotten before the 2nd Quarter even started, as the Drone Caucus (which includes Rep. Richard Hanna) continued to march the nation towards unlimited use of drones domestically [More on that in a bit].

    Also on the fringe, there were the early promises of tax reform and infrastructure reform (which every year since 2009 has been called by a new catch phrase – “shovel-ready jobs”, “infrastructure investments”, “fix-it-first”, and so on). There were promises of a bloom of renewable energy jobs and global warming (or climate change as the new phrase) prevention – which were based on a desired outcome even in the face of a reality that confirmed without question that the jobs were not blooming and that climate change was infeasable at best and ineffective regardless of action.

    Add to this even more Commissions. To support American manufacturing as of the State of the Union (that went nowhere from that moment on), then on the NSA and the Affordable Care Act as the year waned. But like Bowles-Simpson and the President’s Job Council, the answers that would be provided ensured no real action from Government nor the Congress. While some may hold hope for results in 2014, history has shown that regardless of the determinations made, the Obama Administration and Congress only regard these Commissions as a means to politically ensure re-election and maintaining political powerbases.

    All of this and we still have failed to even reach the middle of 2013 overall.

    But let’s skip to the middle of the year. Scandals and Government overreach, with a Congress that was locked in gridlock with representatives that were either unwilling or too calculating to take positions until the political math of the situation was clear.

    Take your pick. There was the continuing inconsistent answers on Benghazi – with a complete lack of accountability for anyone that was publicly even tangentially connected to the fiasco. There were the revelations of the abuses by the NSA, domestically and internationally, that drew public outrage while some politicians flip-flopped and obfuscated their position (I specifically will point out Rep. Richard Hanna). There was the rush to unilaterally engage in essentially an act of war against Syria – instigated by the President, over the objection of the public and for once most of the Congress (at least those that took a position).

    The Benghazi attack is now being brushed aside as a false distraction while legitimate questions remain. The NSA continues to wield power that at least one Court believes is unconstitutional, even as the findings of a Commission is being evaluated without even a hint of promise a single recommendation will be enacted. Syria remains embroiled in a war, with both sides having chemical weapons, neither side pleased with America, and our nation embarrassingly dragged into an agreement that lessened our stature and international standing.

    Plus there are the revelations that The FBI, DEA, and other Agencies of the Government have been using drones domestically – without a shred or clarity on how they have been used, if abuse has occurred, or any impact of the legality of their use – since 2006. Sadly, there is also the delusion lifting reality that mass shootings continue to exist unabated – just as VP Biden promised, even as freedoms were restricted.

    Which leaves only the Government shutdown and Obamacare.

    The fiscal ineptitude of Congress manifested itself in a attempt to remove Obamacare – based on the fear of its inability to achieve the goals that it promised, and the freedoms it sacrificed. This was not a universal move – it was pushed by Republicans that had voted repeatedly to remove Obamacare (well those that did not abandon the votes they had made – again I specifically point out Rep. Hanna). It resulted in a limited shutdown, that was emphasized by drastic measures meant to create an emotional backlash and result in a political win for Democrats (much like the Sequester, but this time done effectively).

    The result was a Congressional approval rate of 8%, a political loss for Republicans, and ultimately a budget deal that increases deficit spending, grows the national debt, expands the size of Government, all for a promise of a future reduction in future increased spending. The reality is that the addiction of Government to spending taxpayer money they have yet to earn remains the only constant regardless of political party.

    As for Obamacare, well, the description of failure is a compliment. Perhaps the quote of President Obama – labeled as the Lie of the Year – puts it into context

    “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it”

    No, millions cannot. The President, and Democrats in general according to Sen. Gillibrand of NY, knew it years ago. In addition we learned the President, knew that the Healthcare.gov website would fail the moment it was unveiled. That many of the fears of Conservatives were absolutely true and correct. That for the hundreds of millions of dollars in over-budget spending that was allocated and spent, untold tens (maybe hundreds) of millions more would need to be spent to even be moderately functional.

    At the end of the day, and year, with deadlines made and passed by, the website that is the hub of all that Obamacare (or the Affordable Care Act – the name changes with the popularity of the program) was promised to be continues to fail to be 100% operational. Essential targets of young and health Americans signing up for the program have failed to be met (by enormous proportions). Attempts to appease the public have resulted in attempts to usurp power from Congress (President Obama “allowing” plans that legally cannot exist to continue).

    All of this while an Obama Administration struggles to prop up dubious and insignificant facts (numbers of visitors to the website), rewords clearly stated and recorded facts (see the Lie of the Year), and shrugs off detailed and absolute calculations of requirements (numbers signed by specific dates), and claim success where abject unmitigated undeniable failure is apparent even in the eyes of the most Left and unwavering of supporters (like Jon Stewart).

    The result of 2013 has been the equivalent of a boil on the arse of the nation.

    At every turn the public has been failed. From the Executive Branch and the Legislative. From politicians at various levels. From mismanagement and fiscal irresponsibility. From abuse and overreach of powers. From limits and restrictions of freedom.

    For all of this, 2013 has been a year where the only memories that Government has provided are of ineptitude and uncompromising failure. Each claim of success has been met with an ever greater misstep and decline.

    The only thing that is a positive is the hope that in 2014 the nation cannot fall as far as it already has. That with the mid-term elections of Congress and various State and local races, there might be some hope of regaining accountability, responsibility, fiscal austerity, and protection of freedoms that are essential to the continuation of the nation.

    2014 could be a year of great upheaval in Congress, which would mean great change in Government – whether the political parties like it or not. It could be a year where Government regains its limitations, improves its confidence with the American public, and rises from the mire of its current international standing. 2014 could be all of this…

    But that will be a different summation, for a different day.

    Are all Republicans the same?

    If you want an honest answer to the headline, read all of this.

    In the news item done by YNN on December 2, 2013, the candidates for the New York 22nd Congressional District (including myself) were painted with a broad and eerily similar brush. The depiction was one that seemed to imply that there is no difference between Rep. Richard Hanna, myself, or any other Republican. Which is silly.

    The implication, which may have been unintentional, is like saying that there is no difference between Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. Rand Paul and President G. W. Bush. Or put another way, President Jimmy Carter, President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama and President John F. Kennedy were the exact same Democrat. It’s preposterous at every level.

    But the brush can be painted on any number of candidates and incumbents of the same political party. Many of the same beliefs will of course be a common thread. Many of the same issues will of course be part of the platform (a question that I can directly state was never asked of me in the YNN interview). The question for voters is not what is the same, but what is the difference – unless there is a purpose to blur what is being presented. But that is a question for another day, and very unclear.

    What makes a candidate different is their experience, their convictions, and what they believe is their motivation for elected office, in my opinion.

    Representative Richard Hanna presents himself as a staunch Conservative and Republican. That’s what he ran on in 2010, and helped him get elected in a wave of Tea Party support and Conservatism. But he himself has said, in 2010 to Time Magazine and in other media since (National journal rankings for one), that he is not a Conservative but a Moderate.

    Rep. Hanna is firm in his opposition of Obamacare, except he has clearly stated in a little viewed interview on Youtube (Minute 1:10 – 1:58) that his votes are merely symbolic. Worse yet, when faced with standing by the conviction of his votes Rep. Hanna folded,

    Hanna was one of two Republicans who voted against delaying Obamacare…”

    “Only two Republicans, both from New York — Reps. Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna —broke ranks with their party to oppose the one-year delay in Obamacare. Both had backed the previous government funding bill defunding Obamacare entirely.”

    Something numerous news media noted immediately.

    Rep. Hanna believes, apparently, that drones are essential to domestic security. Yet he is willing to invite abuse by not seeking to restrict the way they will be used, which is essentially selling the 4th Amendment for a literal handful of jobs as I see it.

    Rep. Hanna is more than willing to sit on the sidelines, without opinion in the face of clearly expressed opinion from constituents, the nation, and in some cases the globe – as he did as President Obama sought to take unilateral action in Syria (against the will of the public, much of Congress, and even international allies).

    This is the Republican that I am running against in the 2014 New York election. And there is very little that is similar.

    I am a fiscal Conservative because I believe that a Government should be, at the least, as careful with its spending as the people it represents. I am Conservative because I believe that the Constitution and Amendments are not just a list of ideals, but guidelines to preserve freedoms in a way that no other nation as done. I am a Republican because I believe that the ingenuity and innovation of individuals always surpasses that of Government, and advances the world. I believe these things strongly enough to have served my country in military service, and to speak out in commentary for the world to see and discuss.

    I oppose Obamacare, not because of symbolism meant to build up political credibility or a vague love of the healthcare system that proceeded it. I oppose the fact that is established a power of Government over the people – which I see as a long-term danger to the nation. I oppose the ACA because if fails in its primary objective to lower healthcare costs. I object to the Health Care Reform because the unintended (and apparently well known among Democrats) consequences are numerous, and to be expected from a partisan law that barely had the ink dry before it was passed. And I’ve been saying this since 2009, publicly. Just do a Google search.

    I fear abuses of power, like drones without laws limiting use against average citizens, or invasion of privacy by the NSA, or even sidestepping Congress by a President that believes Executive Orders are a perfect means to ram his ideology down the throats of Americans that disagree. I support Bills like the Amash Amendment (that Rep. Hanna voted against) that the public agrees with and protects our Rights. I stand, vocally, in opposition to those that would sell our Rights (on the cheap no less) and our citizenship piece by piece under a banner of universal benefits that never come to pass and are never needed anyway.

    I defend the freedoms of Americans to bear arms, and speak freely – even if I disagree with what is being said and even when the criminal and insane misuse such Rights. To limit what is said is to cage a mind. To weaken protection (even from the Government itself) is to invite attack. I defend these and other issues with a knowledge of what is being discussed, the ramifications of the decisions, and an understanding of what the public actually values.

    I hold my positions as I have for years, as is documented and readily available. Not without an ear to hear other options, nor without the willingness to debate pros and cons in an effort to reach the best solution. I have no delusion of grandeur, nor do I believe any 1 person is so wise as to have all the solutions to all problems. But I have the passion and strength of my convictions to face opposition with facts and logic on issues that matter and have mattered over the years, without bending to and fro because of a misplaced desire to maintain a political advantage.

    Long before I felt the need to represent the many people of the NY-22, long before the political landscape required a clear, decisive, consistent representative (or several dozen) I believed these things. Don’t take my word for it, see my Youtube videos, my speeches, my political commentary. You won’t agree with it all, but then again you shouldn’t. Because the politician that everyone agrees with is most likely the same politician lying to everyone.

    Don’t be fooled though. I am not they media driven image of what a Republican is supposed to be. The image of an old, White male that hates gays, immigrants, and non-Christians. An image of intolerance fueled by greed and avarice. That’s not a Republican, or a Conservative. That’s not any political party of worth in America. That’s just a great way to sell newspapers and get eyeballs on TV.

    I am a Black Puerto Rican, 45 years old. I am a Conservative, a Republican, a small business owner, a homeowner. I am a brother and uncle. I am a son. I am most of all an American. I cannot be boxed into a forgettable category, or mashed into some mass of made up media hype.

    This is not a 30 second soundbite, nor is it the limit of what I stand for but the beginning. My platform may sound familiar, but that’s only because it is not being addressed and most Americans think it should be. I am running for the 22nd Congressional District because I want to make an effective difference, and the nation as well as the NY-22 are in desperate need of people in Congress that want to be effective and not just in office.

    If you have read this far, and you see the worth in what I am saying, share this. Because we have enough cookie-cutter politicians that are all painted with the same brush. The approval rating for Congress reflects how effective that is. Time for someone else, and all I ask is for voters and the public, to hear me out and then make their choice.

    Sincerely

    Michael Vasquez

    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.

    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 (www.facebook.com/ElectMichaelVasquezNY) 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? http://reut.rs/17joBUw

    @SenRandPaul 28 Aug
    @BarackObama in 2007: POTUS lacks authority to unilaterally authorize military attack w/o imminent threat to nation http://bo.st/6sTzx
    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 http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/08/28/more-than-100-lawmakers-ask-obama-to-seek-congressional-approval-on-syria-strikes/ …

    @electvasquezny 29 Aug
    Will Syria be another foreign policy flip-flop for Rep Hanna, like Libya? http://m.cnsnews.com/news/article/81-republicans-flip-flop-libya-opposition-votes …

    @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 http://pewrsr.ch/1agR1m6 pic.twitter.com/HqOJu2r1AX
    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’ http://bit.ly/15ykqGp

    @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.”

    What’s the worst position to have on Syria?

    For most of the day, on Sept 4th, the media was deeply entrenched in news about the US potentially bombing Syria due to the alleged use of chemical weapons. From the weak attempt of President Obama to try to garner support from the international community (“…the world set a red line…”) to Secretary Kerry’s avoidance of questions about how the Obama Administration would use any authorization of force against Syria to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approval of same authorization. Big news for an issue that likely will take a decade to resolve all the ramifications.

    Both sides of the issue have strong reasons for their causes. Those in favor of bombing Syria make the case that this will help deter future chemical weapons use around the world. They say that there is a moral imperative for the 1,400 that died. They say that if not stopped now, one day a terrorist will decide to use such weapons against the US, potentially.

    Those against action state that US intervention in a sovereign nations internal dispute has no benefit to America. They pose the conclusion that ultimately, no matter who wins, the US will be blamed for collateral losses which will spur terrorist recruitment and lead to attacks against the nation. They counter that if the loss of 1,400 lives is a moral imperative, then what is the reason for the lack of action in the face of the genocide in Darfur that has claimed more than 1.2 million lives, and created ore than 300,000 refugees?

    Both sides can be faulted for making assumptions that may not be fully valid. Both have flaws as well as core truths that should not be ignored.

    But recent polling show clear lines of thought. Pew Research (9/3/13) noted that 74% felt a strike on Syria would lead to a backlash against the US. Only 33% felt, in the same poll, that a strike would be effective in deterring future chemical weapon attacks.

    A Washington Post/ABC News poll (9/3/13) shows 59% opposed to attacking Syria (and 70% opposed to arming they Syrian rebels). An NBC poll (8/29/13) shows only 26% in favor of military action, increasing to 42% if chemical weapon use is proven, still a mere 21% see US interests actually linked to Syria.

    Yet this is not the point of this article. The above is only meant to clarify a single point. There are clear and definitive positions in America on the issue of military strikes against Syria. In fact more than 140 Republicans and Democrat legislators signed a letter by Rep. Scott Rigell that went before President Obama on the issue of authorization by Congress for any proposed action (one of the most bipartisan acts in some time). For or against, the majority of elected politicians have taken a stance and are doing their jobs by trying to convince their constituents that they are on the right side of the issue.

    The point of this post is about those politicians that are sitting on the fence, like Rep. Richard Hanna (NY-22). He is 1 of 2 Republicans, and 1 of 16 members of Congress representing New York State, that have clearly stated they have no position on the issue at this time.

    “When the use-of-force resolution is finalized, I will review it closely to determine whether or not actions enabled by it advance vital interests of the United States and are in the best interest of upstate New Yorkers” – Rep. Richard Hanna 9/4/13

    I do not believe that such a position is an act of leadership or even a responsible response for a representative elected to Congress. My first thoughts in fact were summed up in my Twitter response earlier in the day,

    @electvasquezny – “Leadership is not about winning every battle or being right in every debate, its about decisiveness in the face of ambiguity.”

    Let me be clear, I do not advocate a hasty decision on an issue with ramifications that reach across the globe and may not be resolved in total for a decade or more. Nor do I advocate a close-minded approach that would prevent both proof and reasonable debate from swaying an elected official from one position to a more worthy one.

    But this is an issue that demands definitive answers from elected officials now. Constituents have a right to know if their representative believes that Congress needs to approve Presidential military action of this nature. They need to know if, after weeks of discussion and information, their Representative believes that US interests are at risk – one way or another.

    It is the obligation of an elected politician to present, in their view, the best options available on any issue – and provide proof and arguments to back up that belief – for the benefit of constituents. Anything less is not deliberation but political maneuvering glossed over with false sympathy, in my opinion.

    This is even more true when such ambiguity is the weapon of a politician that has time and again taken both sides of issues – like immigration, long-term abortion, the NSA and 4th Amendment, even going back to 2011 and Libya. “When the use-of-force resolution is finalized…” says volumes. Once that is done, the debate will essentially be over, with a clear indication of both where the nation feels is the best course of action and what will or will not be done. At that point, those on the fence will just be jumping on a bandwagon, evading any fear of a cost of votes in their next re-election.

    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.

    I can say with certitude that I believe intervention into Syria, especially with military action that is purposefully ineffective at swaying the conflict, is the worst option for America in the long run. It is a plan without foresight to the consequences it will create, and provides no upside to our nation at any point. I appreciate and respect the reasons that oppose my view, and I am more than willing to listen to informed and reasonable debate to sway my position – just as I am willing to wholeheartedly defend my points until proven credibly wrong. I have talked to residents of the NY-22 and beyond, and will speak to more on this issue upon request, because this conversation is the only way to resolve a problem that the hubris of our President has thrust upon us. How can our elected officials do any less?

    There are 16 members of Congress for New York that are on a fence. I have called out Rep. Hanna to reveal, clearly and without ambiguity, where he stands and why as he is my Representative and others should do the same for their Representative. I have no doubt that he and the others all hold preferences, and they should have the internal fortitude to let the public know what that is. Just as this is not about partisanship, so to it should not be about bandwagons and political maneuver for re-election plans and fundraising dreams.

    In America we expect more from our politicians, and this is the time and issue where our politicians live up to that expectation.

    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?

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    2 Aug @electvasquezny

    Interesting that Rep Hanna (NY-22) says he supports limits on NSA, but is NOT cosponsor of http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.R.2399 …: – 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. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t12.htm …

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

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    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 http://shar.es/yqHQH via @BreitbartNews This is insulting!

    politi.co/13fDRgs Some get it, others just want to discredit valid concerns they don’t want to address. Guess which is Rep Rangel.

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    6 Aug @electvasquezny

    @BarackObama missing key word in statement – “LEGAL”

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    7 Aug @electvasquezny

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

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    9 Aug @electvasquezny

    What are the Obamacare numbers for the NY-22? http://wp.me/p3tK3D-1O

    What happens when Congress fails to read laws? Cities, Counties and employers scramble to the detriment of public. http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130808/OPINION01/308080008/1008/OPINION01/Obamacare-leading-part-time-nation …

    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

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    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? http://wp.me/p3tK3D-1Q

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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?

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    23 Aug @electvasquezny

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

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    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.

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    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 http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/08/28/more-than-100-lawmakers-ask-obama-to-seek-congressional-approval-on-syria-strikes/ …

    Will Syria be another foreign policy flip-flop for Rep Hanna, like Libya? http://m.cnsnews.com/news/article/81-republicans-flip-flop-libya-opposition-votes …

    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.

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    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’

    August 2013 – Facebook comments

    Often 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. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter are excellent formats to provide and share comments and thoughts of this nature. But not everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, or have as open an access to these formats as the internet in general. Thus, from time to time, this blog will provide several of these commentaries and musings.

    The following can be found on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ElectMichaelVasquezNY – ask to be added to my friends list to be up to date daily) from the month of August 2013:

    August 2

    I support the LIBERT E Bill – H.R. 2399. Along with 48 members of congress (Rep Hanna is not one of them) I believe that the NSA should not blanket collect US citizens phone and internet transactions. What do you think?

    H.R.2399 — LIBERT-E Act

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    If its so great and beneficial, why the exemption? Besides, isn’t Obamacare supposed to let them keep their insurance if they like it? Or was that just polispeak to cover passing the law?

    Congress: ObamaCare for thee, but not for we; Update: Boehner: Only solution is “full repeal”

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    August 4

    I could say I just want one to piss off the anti-gun people, but to be honest I really just want to own it because it’s so unique.

    SSK produces largest caliber rifle ever, one round costs same as tank of gas

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    August 7 -

    So after an hour long discussion (on my part, the other side was just going for personal attacks), it again has become clear that some people will reject all scientific proof – from State and Government sources, collected over years and rechecked – because they don’t like the answer. Then I get the threat that I won’t get their vote.

    Good. No one should vote for someone they don’t believe in. Ever. But I won’t change my views to pander to the public just to get an extra vote. That’s what I dislike in Congress and Government now. That’s why things are so screwed up.

    You don’t have to agree with me 100%, just vote for whomever you believe is sincere and honestly trying to represent the people. If we all do that, America will be better for it.

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    August 8 -

    YNN announces Cheasapeque Energy walking away from leases. With 9% unemployment, the loss of income to landowners and loss of potential business to small biz owners in Southern Tier bodes poorly for the area. The same anti frackers may be happy, until the negative economy and business unfriendliness impacts there livelihoods. But then they will blame someone else most likely.

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    August 9 -

    What happens when Congress fails it’s job and does not read laws that it passes? Cities, Counties and employers all scramble to the detriment of the public.

    “The Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] would have been a hit to our budget,” says Mayor John O’Reilly [of Dearborn, MI], a Democrat. “It has imposed on us an obligation that we didn’t anticipate. I’m a supporter of the concept (of the ACA), but as we move forward and identify the unintended consequences, I’d like more flexibility.”

    Obamacare leading to part-time nation

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    For all the things President Obama said about changing the parameters of the NSA, what troubles me is what he did NOT say. Will the NSA continue to keep records already collected of tens of millions of innocent Americans? What is the NSA doing with those records? What about PRISM, which are the records of all internet actions of all Americans?

    Barack Obama FULL Press Conference: NSA Surveillance, Putin, Russia, Edward Snowden – 8/9/13

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    August 10

    As I understand it, and I am no lawyer or UMCJ expert, Article 94 – sedition, applies and is punishable by death. So does Article 104 – aiding the enemy, 166 – breach of peace, 118 (1) – murder, and Article 134. With Article 134, which covers everything, acts of terror could be addressed and charged.

    Victims angry, but experts cite legal reasons why Fort Hood shooter not charged with terror

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    August 15

    Aren’t you glad that Rep Hanna voted against restricting the NSA?

    NSA Surveillance Broke Privacy Rules Thousands Of Times Per Year: Report

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    August 19

    Let me know what you thought about the discussion with Bob Joseph today. What would be the one thing that you would ask president Obama

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    Full audio and transcript of my conversation with Bob Joseph of WNBF Talk Radio 1290 will be available later this evening.

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    Part 1 of Michael Vasquez and Bob Joseph of WNBF, discussing President Obama, fracking, Congress, and more.

    Bob Joseph of WNBF and Michael Vasquez discuss Pres Obama coming to Binghamton NY

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    Part 2 of 2 – Michael Vasquez and Bob Joseph of WNBF discuss the potential from President Obama visiting Binghamton, NY

    Michael Vasquez, Bob Joseph of WNBF discuss Pres. Obama in Binghamton

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    August 20 -

    According to the Obama Administration the NSA can violate the 4th Amendment. According to efforts by the drone caucus (which Rep Hanna is a member) unmannes aerial systems need no laws and can violate the 4th Amendment. Now, as the Washington Post reports, the Obama Administration supports warrantless cellphone searches. Maybe it’s time we get people into Congress that are willing to defend our freedoms rather than sell them on the cheap.

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    August 21 -

    So if no one is responsible for the Benghazi attack, was it just an accident or act of God? Is no one to blame as it was unforseeable or impossible to prevent? Only if pigs fly.

    Analysis: No one is being held responsible for Benghazi

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    August 22

    Why is it that when President Obama wanted change to immigration laws and gun restrictions he circumvented Congress, but for college tuition he is waiting for Congress to act. Are his convictions not as strong? Is this just a smokescreen issue meant to distract?

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    August 25

    With your donations, we can get this on TV across the 22nd Congressional District of New York. Share, Like, spread the word and don’t forget to donate whatever you can. Let’s make Congress accountable in 2014.

    Voiceover by Jimmyjohn McCabe

    NSA, 4th Amendment, and the 2014 NY election

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    August 28 –

    I’m so tired of the re-write. MLK wasn’t looking for minorities to be given jobs that didn’t exist, he was fighting for Right not to be denied a job just because a minority applied. The job still needs to be earned to be worthwhile.

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    August 29 -

    So why is Rep Hanna silent as 100 Republicans and 18 Dems agree w Senator Obama that President needs Congress approval for Syria?

    More than 100 lawmakers ask Obama to seek congressional approval on Syria strikes

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    Rep Hanna position not so surprising considering flip-flop on Libya in 2011 -

    81 Republicans Flip-Flop on Libya Opposition Votes

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    British are no go on bombing Syria. Seems they don’t see a point in doing something with no benefit to them and potential long-term negatives. Think that will sway president Obama? Not if you recall Libya.

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    August 30

    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.

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    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.”

    Barack Obama’s Q&A