Over the past several weeks I have become increasingly motivated to support Nate Shinagawa.
I am convinced that his energy, enthusiasm and "genuineness" will not only put the new 29th Congressional District on the map, but ensure that we have a representative who cares about us and is willing to battle the partisan obstructionists who have left us without direction or progress.
Contrast that with his opponent, Tom Reed. While he has made it difficult for us to get to know him, his campaign rhetoric, voting record and political partisanship cast him as out of touch with the real issues that are of importance to the people in this constituency.
Congressman Reed's literature states that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are entitlements that need to be repealed. His empathy for our district is questionable at best when he intentionally ignored the Farm Bill and supports the purchase of electricity from government subsidized plants in Canada - a move that would all but kill our effort to preserve and protect NRG. Critical funding for rural airports would be eliminated by Reed.
Perhaps more alarming are the policies and proposals that Reed has opposed. Veterans and armed service members should be outraged that he voted to shut down their Emergency Mortgage Relief program as well as the bill to increase housing assistance for veterans. His opposition to the Veterans Job Bill is incomprehensible and a sad indication that he has more love for the Tea Party than he has for America and the men and women who have fought to protect her.
Reed even voted against increasing combat pay for troops, although he did vote to allow the Defense Department to spend millions on NASCAR sponsorships.
All of us, but particularly women, should be alarmed that while he opposed considering legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, he did vote to restrict Women's Reproductive Health Care. His belief that government has the right to make decisions about the health care of women has been his justification for twice voting to make it harder for millions of women to find care including affordable preventative care like mammograms and cervical cancer screenings.
When Reed talks about "deregulation," he's talking about his vote to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's ability to protect seniors from deceptive practice or to get promised benefits, and a bill that would require oil and gas companies to have a disaster plan for oil spills. He is for tax cuts for companies that ship jobs overseas but against cutting oil and gas subsidies to balance the budget. His record in protecting our environment is abysmal.
Nate Shinagawa's optimism is contagious. He is open and approachable. He has the energy and stamina to support and be in touch with this geographically diverse new district. I sincerely hope that everyone takes the time to get to know him. I have every confidence that your support will be rewarded.
Who is being
In the Oct. 31 edition of the OBSERVER, an ad was run on page A10 indicating that incumbent Assemblyman Andrew Goodell has "A record of Supporting Women. Supports equal pay for equal work. Opposes cutting life saving mammograms and cancer screenings. Supports the right for women to make their own health care decisions."
However, according to Project Vote Smart, "a non-partisan, nonprofit educational organization" (votesmart.org) that works to "provide access to information" for voters, and other sources, Mr. Goodell has voted against such bills as A6130 and A6448, which required fair and equal pay for equivalent service and against A6112 which protected the right to make personal health care decisions. A legislator's votes are actions that are a matter of factual public record and speak much louder than words.
In August, we received a flyer in the mail from Mr. Goodell stating that "Since Andy Goodell went to Albany, state government has restored $805 million in education aid." First, there was no statement of fact regarding how Mr. Goodell actually voted on this. Secondly, there was no mention of the vast amounts that have been cut from education aid.
At the bottom of the aforementioned ad is the slogan "Putting Us First!" It would be very telling to find out exactly who "us" is.
I maintain no political party affiliation, however, I think we've all had our fill of misleading, "less than factual," information being used to sway voters. We are blessed to live in a democracy. We are all entitled to vote and we should all vote this Tuesday but we are also entitled to the facts! We expect honesty and integrity in our representation, without the need for fact checkers!
Additionally, after the elections, I hope that those who are in office remember that they are in service and not in power.
'Order' a reason
Country. Constitution. Congress. Soon to be extinct?
The following addresses this - it is from an article - dated Tuesday, Aug. 21: "Issues or America" by columnist Thomas Sowell.
"When the president can ignore the plain language of duly passed laws and substitute his own executive order, then we no longer have 'a government of laws, and not of men,' but a president ruling by decree, like the dictator in some banana republic."
The true '47
Sometimes useful idiots can be ... well ... useful. One just made me fact check what Mitt Romney really had to say about the 47 percenters. Here is what I found.
This is a quote from the "Mother Jones" article:
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. ... These are people who pay no income tax."
See the word lazy in there? No? Neither did I. Where does it say that all of these people want to live off of the government? I don't see that either.
Let's go to another member of that evil right wing conspiracy - CNN. In an online article dated Oct. 3, CNN states:
"In 2009, roughly 47 percent of households, or 71 million, will not owe any federal income tax, according to estimates by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Some in that group will even get additional money from the government because they qualify for refundable tax breaks."
Sometimes the facts just seem to get in the way for some people. I just can't let them get away with it.
ROBERT E. PETERSON,