Monday, January 29, 2007

Brunogate: What Say You, Maureen O'Connell?

As Nassau GOP Watch and others have noted, Maureen O'Connell is running on a platform of "holding Albany accountable", so much so that she personally wrote Gov. Spitzer to let him know that she's on board with his reform agenda.

In her own words, Maureen on Accountability:

"She believes that government should be efficient and inclusive, rather than wasteful and exclusive.

As your State Senator, Maureen will fight to bring about a more open, responsive and efficient state government."
(emphasis mine)

Maureen O'Connell "means what she says.. and she'll do it!"

That's great news, because it looks like her Republican boss in Albany, Sen. Joe Bruno, could use a dose of that accountability jazz.

So Maureen, you'll renounce Joe Bruno's illegal (or at least incredibly suspect) use of campaign funds, right? Right?

O'Connell "means what she says", and now she has the perfect opportunity to "do it!".

Anyone feel like helping her out?

Maureen O'Connell For State Senate
499 Jericho Turnpike
Suite 100
Mineola, NY 11501

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Johnson Means Reform

Interesting thread called "Run Maureen..." at The Albany Project , (where I posted this as a diary under the same title..)

Let me tell you why I think Johnson means reform and O'Connell means dysfunction..

SaveNY has a right to his healthy dose of skepticism, given the apparent dysfunction of the legislature. Still, I disagree with his assessment that Johnson would be bad for upstate, simply because he is a downstate Democrat. For one, this election will ultimately be decided by voters within the district, and whomever they pick ought to reflect their interests and concerns, in the same way that upstate senators serve upstate citizens.

Beyond this, electing Johnson makes for better state government. From what I gather, he has been effective and clean in the Nassau Leg. And if you assume a certain degree of party discipline and lockstep, as SaveNY presumably does, I have a feeling Johnson's loyalties would fall closer to the ever-ascendant Spitzer, (as opposed to the besieged/machine boss Silver).

I say this because of the tremendous political capital our newly elected governor is expending in this race; clearly Johnson will be indebted to Spitzer, and thus an ally for REFORM.

It is the reform that Spitzer champions (public-finance, independent redistricting) that will ultimately benefit ONE NEW YORK, upstate included. So yes, lavish plane rides are certainly disappointing coming from Spitzer, but if he makes this sort of thing illegal, I'm all for it.

Something tells me that despite her love letter pledge to Spitzer, O'Connell would likely crack under pressure from Bruno, Skelos, et al. They've already shown their willingness to maintain their entrenched power-base tooth and nail; do you really think that O'Connell, a freshman legislator with little sway and in need of pork and plum cmte. appointments, could bite the hand that feeds?

This 'hand', might I add, is the Skelos-Mondello Nassau GOP, which seeks to hold on to its ever-dwindling status as the head of the state GOP. Mondello is pulling the strings here, and his loyalties start with Nassau and Long Island.

Therefore I see O'Connell as an impediment to both reform and a vital upstate.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

King for Reform Before He was Against it?

Medicare Negotiation Bill Passes Veto Feared

See if you can make some sense of King's position on lowering Medicare drug prices, I don't really get it:

However, Congressman Peter King (R-Massapequa Park) was not convinced that this bill would help bring down the price of prescription medications. "While HR 4 may have offered the promise of lower drug prices, the reality is that it would do nothing to lower actual costs," King countered. "As a matter of fact, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has determined that it would have little effect on reducing the cost of prescription drugs. In addition, the dangerously vague language of HR 4 opens the door to restricting seniors' access to new drugs and multiple pharmacies."

But King said there are reasons to be concerned about the plan. "As seen in the debate on the House floor, supporters of HR 4 contend that the Veterans Administration offers a model in which drug prices are negotiated," he said. "What they have failed to mention, however, is that the VA offers a limited choice of pharmaceuticals available at select pharmacies. Three thousand of the 4,300 medicines covered by Medicare are unavailable under the veterans' program. Recent data shows that 1.5 million veterans are so unsatisfied with the coverage that they have chosen to buy a Part D plan." King added, "I have made it clear that I would support legislation giving Medicare more power to negotiate prescription drug prices if it would expand the purchasing power of Medicare beneficiaries and cover the wide range of prescription drugs and pharmacies currently available to those beneficiaries."

King cites the CBO report saying this legislation would have little effect on drug prices. What he doesn't tell us is that they believe this only because the legislation doesn't go far enough in "limiting choices". So basically King is being nonsensical: He accuses the Democrats' bill of not going far enough in granting Medicare negotiating leverage, but he's not willing to deal with the reduced options that come about from bulk purchasing, like in the VA program.

King wants to have his cake, eat it too, and blame the Democrats for taking steps forward.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

King Politicizes Iraq Quagmire

hat tip to Iraq Insider:
Peter King cosponsors H.R. 511 which pledges "the faithful support of Congress to members of the United States Armed Forces serving in harm's way."

One would think that such an individual would seek to get those troop OUT of harm's way ASAP. Instead, King wants to spin the Democrats as not caring about the troops, merely because Democrats are not willing to see more brave soldiers die in policing a hopeless civil war.

Be sure to read the text of the bill, it's a classic example of the blind flag-waving that has come to characterize GWB's 'leadership'.. basically the bill is a piece of total polemic that mischaracterizes the dems's position of deigning to question the McCain Doctrine of open escalation. The November elections were a clear signal that the American people have had enough of Bush's failed leadership. King still "thanks God George Bush is our President", judging by this highly partisan junk bill.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Peter King: Flip Flopper?

AARP raps Peter King's vote on drug bill

"AARP in New York state says King's vote against the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act -- which would give the Department of Health and Human Services the authority to negotiate cheaper pharmaceuticals -- was cast despite assurances to the contrary."

"Congressman King in our voters guide states he's in favor of lowering drug prices and then he votes against this bill -- we were disappointed to see that," William Ferris, a lobbyist for the AARP in New York state, said Monday.

This certainly seems like a sly move by King. He maintains he is in favor of price negotiation, that this was merely a 'procedural objection' of sorts, yet still pays homage to Big Pharma and her deep pocket$. I for one am glad that AARP is taking the time to expose King's desertion of society's most vulnerable. Methinks he's also trying to stay in good with the R leadership, that is voting against some good ideas when they come from the Democrats. Let's see how far that takes him..

I'm beginning to understand why King called Sen. Lieberman's (CFL-CT) Democratic opposition a bunch of 'left-wing zealots'.

That's because he shares a passion for being a conservative in moderate clothing with Lieberman, slash they're both really good at campaigning on lies..

Bush’s Best Democratic Buddy
Joe Lieberman gives the president a pass on Katrina.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Craig Johnson for New York Senate

Because Eliot Says So!
(More reasons to come..)

NY Senate Leader Bruno(R) Hearts Strippers and Shady Dealings..

Feds press flesh probe of Bruno

Got free strip-club visit from pal whose biz he helped: report

King Asleep at the Switch- $22 BILLION MISSING

Firedoglake has a post about a recent KPMG audit of the Department of Homeland Security:

"Here’s my favorite. It’s a doozy folks. You may want to read it twice: FEMA was unable to fully support the accuracy and completeness of certain unpaid obligations, and accounts payable, and the related effects on net position, if any, prior to the completion of DHS’s 2006 PAR. These unpaid obligations, as reported in the accompanying DHS balance sheet as of September 30, 2006, were $22.3 Billion or 46% of DHS consolidated unexpended appropriations at September 30, 2006. [emphasis mine]"

So King was running the show on the House side while almost HALF of the DHS budget went unaccounted for?! But you know, whatever, his son lobbies for defense contractors, it's all good, perfectly on the level, now let's get back to running the country..

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

August 10th, 2006

Mr. Premo,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comments. It's a pleasure to have a challenger that understands and respects the progressive netroots, and it sure looks like Dave will have a high profile in the national blogosphere. Hopefully this will generate interest and financial support for the campaign, and in turn garner strong support from the DCCC.

Dave's high profile on the national blogs, though, can only go so far in generating the local grassroots support neccessary to knock out Peter King.

Whether or not the campaign decides to create its own blog (which I highly reccomend), Dave would do well to make frequent public appearances all over the district. Ned Lamont's outsider campaign was built upon the dedication of grassroots activists who felt a real connection with Ned. Ned gave so many stump speeches that the 'base' voters had ample opportunity to ask tough questions, meet Ned individually, etc. These people, in turn, went out and told their friends and neighbors about Lamont. Ned made a point of answering every question and meeting most everyone at his events. Dave should strive for the same.

It's all about 'people-power', online and off. Blogs are a great way of keeping your local netroots motivated and active. Supporters take on the cause as their own when they feel 'in the loop'. You can do this by providing a public comments section, fundraising drives with public goals, (with a meter on the site, etc.) You could have an intern bring a digital camcorder to Dave's events, and put the video on the site and the netroots are REALLY into video , because if they can't make it to a rally, speech, etc, they can still watch the video online.

As far as messaging goes, I've definitely appreciated Dave's tough posture so far in decrying King/Bush, so keep it up :) If you've been around Kos/MyDD a bit, you know that the progressive netroots rally behind leaders who express genuine outrage regarding the Republicans' policies. A progressive in this mold is someone who will call a spade a spade, and demand accountability in Washington. Definitely hit upon King's sources of funding; Republican corporate money is disgusting, and people need to hear how campaign contributions affect King's votes. There is a real bad taste in Americans' mouths lately because of this corruption and greed. Get people angry. Explain why Dave is different. The 3rd CD is no Berkeley, but across America, Democrats are finding success by drawing sharp distinctions between themselves and Republicans.

The voters need to hear the particulars of King's rubber stamp votes, and Dave should not hesitate to frame these decisions in stark moral terms. A big stinker for me is the Republican budget. Keep telling people that King would rather give tax cuts to billionaires than student loans to college kids.. things like that. Remember, a budget is a moral document.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully you don't find this too presumptuous coming from a college kid like myself.


Monday, January 1, 2007


HAPPY NEW YEAR! (liveblogged.)