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Mar
31

Weiner Lends a Hand to McMahon

March 31, 2010,

“Mike McMahon is awfully quick to take campaign cash from one of Speaker Pelosi’s partisan lieutenants who voted for a government takeover of healthcare, record tax hikes and a big government agenda.  It’s clear that McMahon is standing firmly with his Washington leaders and caving on his temporary and selective principles.” – Tory Mazzola, NRCC Spokesman

 McMahon votes with Speaker Pelosi 92% of the time. 

From the Daily News:

 Rep. Anthony Weiner has agreed to headline a fundraiser for his House colleague, Rep. Mike McMahon, after the event's original top host, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, backed out in protest of McMahon's "no" vote on health care reform.

A reader forwarded this invite, which lists Weiner as the "special guest" at an April 7 fundraiser for McMahon being held at The Woolworth Tower Kitchen. The event is still being co-hosted by Council members Debi Rose and Domenic Recchia.

I was surprised to see the congressman's name there, since he was not only an outspoken advocate of reform that went even further than the final bill, but has been raising money for the DCCC and at least one fellow Democrat (Ohio's John Boccieri) in trouble because of his "yes" vote.

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Mar
30

Non-Partisan Report: Gillibrand-Obama Health Care Bill To Increase Premiums for NY Young Adults

March 30, 2010:

As Governor Paterson’s appointed U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) touts President Barack Obama’s massive health care overhaul, the Associated Press reported today that “premiums for young adults seeking coverage on the individual market would likely climb by 17 percent on average.”

According to the AP’s report:

Under the health care overhaul, young adults who buy their own insurance will carry a heavier burden of the medical costs of older Americans — a shift expected to raise insurance premiums for young people when the plan takes full effect.

Beginning in 2014, most Americans will be required to buy insurance or pay a tax penalty. That's when premiums for young adults seeking coverage on the individual market would likely climb by 17 percent on average, or roughly $42 a month, according to an analysis of the plan conducted for The Associated Press.

In the wake of the Democrats’ $787 billion stimulus debacle, which failed to create much-needed jobs nationwide, the AP notes that the higher costs from the Obama-Gillibrand health care bill “will pinch many people in their 20s and early 30s who are struggling to start or advance their careers with the highest unemployment rate in 26 years.”

“When Kirsten Gillibrand promised New Yorkers that President Obama’s massive health care bill would lower health care costs, voters were not picturing a significant rate hike for New York’s young adults. Gillibrand put Barack Obama and Harry Reid’s agenda before New York’s future, and she will be forced to explain her misplaced priorities and failure to create much-needed jobs this November,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Brian Walsh.

 

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Mar
30

Inspector General to Senate Dems: You Just Don't Get It

From the Daily Politics, March 30, 2010:

The state Inspector General has responded to the Senate Democrats' attempt to quash his AEG-related subpoenas with a harshly-worded memorandum accusing them of "a fundamental misunderstanding of the scope of legislative immunity" provided to them by the state Constitution.

Mar
29

Buerkle Starts Early in her Challenge to Rep. Maffei

March 29, 2010:

To achieve her goal, Buerkle said she plans to make health care and the economy her top campaign issues, drawing on her experience early in her career as a registered nurse and working mother of six.  In addition to opposing Obama’s health care reform, she also objected to the $787 billion economic stimulus package passed with the support of Maffei and the Democratic-controlled Congress. Her general message is a call for smaller government and lower taxes.  “The message that I have been delivering and has been so well received is that it’s not the role of government to create jobs,” Buerkle said.

From Syracuse Post Standard: 

After Congress passed President Barack Obama’s historic health care reform bill without the support of a single Republican last week, Ann Marie Buerkle showed up in Washington, D.C., to send a message.

More than seven months before the mid-term congressional elections, Buerkle put national Republican leaders on notice that she intends to pose a serious challenge to Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei.

Maffei, 41, the freshman Democrat from DeWitt, has a formidable head start with more than $1 million in his campaign bank account. But Buerkle, 58, a lawyer from Onondaga Hill, is working full time to raise money, build a campaign team and prove to national Republican leaders that the 25th Congressional District will be a sound investment for the GOP’s national donors this fall.

For Buerkle, a former Syracuse Common Council member and anti-abortion activist, the challenge is to revive a political career that has been dormant for 15 years, and in the process become the first woman elected to Congress from Syracuse and its suburbs.

To achieve her goal, Buerkle said she plans to make health care and the economy her top campaign issues, drawing on her experience early in her career as a registered nurse and working mother of six.

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Mar
26

House Democrats Who Rejected Health Bill May Face Trouble From Their Friends

From the New York Times, March 26, 2010:

WASHINGTON — The New York City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, agreed a few weeks ago to host a fund-raiser for a fellow Democrat who faced the prospect of a tough challenge this fall, Representative Michael E. McMahon of Staten Island.

Her offer has now been rescinded.

After Mr. McMahon, a former city councilman, voted against the health care overhaul bill that Congress approved on Sunday, her office called his staff to say she would not attend the event next month at the Woolworth Tower Kitchen in Manhattan.

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Mar
26

Rep. Arcuri Ouster in 24th C.D. Looking More and More Likely

March 26, 2010:

Today, yet another political analysis Web site – The Cook Political Report – lessened Michael Arcuri’s chances for re-election. The Cook analysis moved New York’s 24th Congressional District from “leans Democrat” to “toss-up,” showing the strength of Richard Hanna’s candidacy. The analysis described Arcuri’s health care votes as “anything but a profile in political courage,” echoing statements Richard Hanna and others made during the past week.

A subscription is required to access the Cook Political Report.

Here is the analysis:

NY-24    Mike Arcuri    Lean D to Toss Up

As Arcuri's surprising close call in 2008 showed, the sophomore Democrat doesn't have enough solid crossover support among independents and Republicans to afford losing anyone in his own base. But his vote against the Senate version of health care reform, which came just five months after his vote in favor of the House version, has drawn the ire of labor groups who now seem bent on giving Arcuri his comeuppance. As a GOP operative notes, Arcuri would have only prevailed against GOP businessman Richard Hanna by 60 votes in 2008 without the Working Families Party line on the ballot, which labor leaders are now threatening to withhold.

The fact that Hanna entered the 2010 race in between Arcuri's two votes makes the incumbent look like anything but a profile in political courage. Hanna is a likeable, self-described “reluctant Republican” who starts with plenty of name identification from his last race, and this district hasn't trended towards Democrats like other districts in Upstate New York. Democrats caution Hanna may not have as much personal money to spend this time around and that Arcuri will do a better job of engaging him, but the improved political environment for the GOP may be more consequential. This race is a Toss Up.

Mar
25

Kirsten Gillibrand Votes For Convicted Sex Offenders to Recieve Taxpayer-Funded Viagra

From NRSC, March 25, 2010:

 WASHINGTON – Highlighting her left-wing agenda and the extreme lengths to which Democrats are going to preserve their massive government-run health care bill, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) voted today to block an amendment that would have prohibited health care plans administered by the federal government from covering erectile dysfunction drugs for individuals convicted of child molestation, rape, or other forms of sexual assault.

The amendment, which was offered by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), was defeated by Gillibrand and her Democrat Senate colleagues during today’s health care reconciliation debate.  

“Kirsten Gillibrand’s decision to allow individuals convicted of child molestation, rape, or other forms of sexual assault to obtain taxpayer-funded drugs like Viagra is disgusting and disturbing,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Brian Walsh. “Once again, Gillibrand put partisan politics before her constituents, and showed New Yorkers that she’s beholden to the extreme left. We’re confident that voters will hold Senator Gillibrand accountable for this revolting vote in November.”

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Mar
25

Gillibrand Tells New Yorkers: Medicaid Good Enough For You, But Not For Me

From NRSC, March 25, 2010:

 WASHINGTON – During today’s health care reconciliation debate, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) told New Yorkers that Medicaid might be sufficient for their health care coverage, but it’s not good enough for her.

Gillibrand voted to block a vote on an amendment sponsored by U.S. Senator George LeMieux (R-FL), which would have required Gillibrand and her colleagues to drop their top-shelf health insurance coverage through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), and enroll in the Medicaid system instead.

“Kirsten Gillibrand clearly communicated to voters in her state today that Medicaid may suffice for them, but it’s not good enough for her own personal health care coverage,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Brian Walsh. “Gillibrand decided to put her own health care coverage above New Yorkers’ needs, and we’re confident that voters will hold her accountable for this hypocrisy when they cast their ballots this November.” 

President Obama recently admitted that Medicaid suffers from access problems due to inadequate reimbursement levels. While the reconciliation bill provides increases in primary care reimbursement, those provisions apply to 2013 and 2014 only, and will result in an average 50 percent cut in Medicaid reimbursement rates in 2015.

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Mar
25

Kirsten Gillibrand Votes To Kick New York Seniors Off Medicare Advantage

From NRSC, March 25, 2010:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) voted today against a motion to protect millions of seniors and disabled individuals from losing their Medicare Advantage coverage under President Barack Obama’s unpopular health care overhaul.

The motion, put forward by U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), would have recommitted the President’s health care bill to the Senate Finance Committee with an amendment to strike all cuts to the Medicare Advantage program.

“With Kirsten Gillibrand’s vote, millions of seniors are now in danger of losing their Medicare Advantage coverage as part of the $529 billion in Medicare cuts contained in the Democrats’ bill,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Brian Walsh. “Clearly, President Obama, Kirsten Gillibrand, and the Democrats in Washington didn’t mean it when they promised Americans ‘if you like your current plan, you can keep it.’”

“Senator Gillibrand has betrayed New York seniors, first by voting for a bill with more than $500 billion in Medicare cuts, then by rejecting the opportunity to protect New Yorkers from losing their health coverage,” Walsh continued. “Gillibrand’s vote today will affect seniors in a real way – from chronic care management to eyeglasses and hearing aids. We’re confident that New Yorkers will hold Kirsten Gillibrand accountable this November for putting her party leaders in Washington before her constituents once again.”

 

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Mar
24

State Democrats selling access to unions

Form the New York Post, March 24, 2010:

ALBANY — Democrats in the state Senate are up for sale — and they don’t come cheap!

The Capitol’s scandalous “pay to play” culture descended to a new low as Democratic lawmakers told top labor leaders that they would have to pony up $50,000 each in donations if they want special access, The Post has learned.

In a shocking letter to union bosses who are battling state budget cuts, state Sen. Jeff Klein of The Bronx offered to sell them "chairmanships" on a newly created "Labor Advisory Council."

"Advisory Council chairs will have the unique opportunity to advise the Senate Dems on the structure and focus of the Labor Advisory Council," says the letter from Klein, chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

"In addition to all meetings, conferences and events that are included with Advisory Council membership, the advisory chairs will be invited to an exclusive meeting with the Senate majority leaders," the letter states.

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