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Our future, our voices, and your vote

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

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

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

    Given those predictions, the reality is amazing on target.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    National attention is firmly focused on this race.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sincerely

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

  • Is the Internet the end of political waffling? Not quite

    Long ago politicians earned the moniker of being 2-faced and envisioned as “oil can Harry’s”. But in the age of the Internet, where the public has almost instantaneous access to voting records, video of speeches, and transcripts of campaign pledges one might assume modern politicians would be more straightforward. You may recall what happens when you assume.

    Case in point, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY22). In just the last few months he has either supported both sides of an issue and/or directly reversed his position or ignored constituent concerns. This justification of his ranking as the 5th most moderate Republican member of Congress [Bipartisan Policy Center - July 2012], though he ran in 2010 as a Tea Party conservative, has been achieved through careful wordplay and the assumption that voters aren’t paying attention to the details, in my opinion.

    Here are some facts:

    March 2013 -

  • The Drone Caucus (which Rep Hanna is a member) fails to mention legislation protecting 4th Amendment Rights in its 5 mission statements – http://unmannedsystemscaucus.mckeon.house.gov/about/purpose-mission-goals.shtml
  • 25th – Rep Hanna is pushing to get Unmanned Aerial Systems in sky by 2015 to promote job growth – http://wrvo.org/post/hanna-optimistic-upstate-new-york-will-land-drone-test-site

    April 2013

  • 24th – Rep Hanna skips Joint Economic Committee meeting on solutions to long-term unemployment – http://www.nationaljournal.com/congress/the-poorly-attended-hearing-on-one-of-the-economy-s-toughest-problems-20130424
  • 24th – Rep Hanna publishes article promoting immigration reform to provide visas to foreign workers to gain STEM jobs – http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/science-technology-engineering-math-education-immigration-90517.html

    May 2013 -

  • 10th – Rep Hanna raises concern about impact of immigration reform on the unemployed seeking a job – http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/10/heres-the-economic-advice-congress-is-getting-on-immigration/
  • 16th – CBS News reports 32 States considering legislation to limit drone use, 4 other have passed laws (not New York), Rep Hanna makes no comment – http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57584695/lawmakers-move-to-limit-domestic-drones/

    June 2013

  • 18th – H.R 1917 receives NO vote from Rep Hanna, who is on record as against late-term abortions. H.R. 1917 would deny abortions as late as 20 weeks unless the life of the mother is at risk – http://hanna.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3536&Itemid=

    July 2013

  • 24th – H Amnd 413, the Amash Amendment to restrict NSA from blanket gathering of phone and internet domestic data of general public, was voted on – Rep Hanna voted NO – http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/113-2013/h412
  • 25th – H.R. 2397, Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2014, passed. Rep Hanna, in discussing his vote YEA, states he also voted for restricting NSA – http://hanna.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3557&Itemid=

    4th Amendment, abortion, immigration, and jobs all in just the first half of 2013. Plus pushing for technology to invade privacy without regulation and taking credit for a vote on an issue popular with the public that didn’t happen – a full roster of questionable actions. No matter what position a voter may have on these issues, Rep Hanna appears to have covered every base without actually taking a position that might endanger re-election hopes one may infer.

    The question should be asked if the lack of political fortitude stems from a lack of connection to constituents and their concerns on these issues? Is it shrewd political calculations to help fend off 2014 election challengers? Or is it a lack of understanding of the ramifications for the issues and legislation at hand?

    With all the advantages that modern technology affords it is still difficult enough for a voter to understand 2000+ page laws, secret courts, new technologies that are unaddressed by current law and so on. It is infinitely worse when elected politicians live up to the popular negative stereotypes that contribute to a 75% DISSAPROVAL rating of Congress.

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