The Rural Patriot

October 28, 2006

A Promise Made, A Promise Broken

Filed under: 2006 Campaigns,Eric Massa,Randy Kuhl — theruralpatriot @ 2:09 pm

Do you Pledge to not engage in negative campaigning and advertising?

(Rep.) Kuhl – Absolutely not (meaning he will not run a negative campaign). I have never run a negative campaign and never will.

I heard the above words spoken in real time, on October 10, 2006, during the debate for Rep. Kuhl and Eric Massa held in Elmira, NY.

Looks like that promise didn’t last very long. Just this past week alone, my household received from Rep. Kuhl’s campaign two separate mailings that did nothing but extremely distort and lie about Eric Massa’s position on the sole issue of Social Security reform.

Mailing #1: Face of an elderly gentleman on the front – “I depend on my Social Security to make ends meet.” On the back: “That’s why I can’tafford Eric Massa in Congress.”

** But Democrat Eric Massa supports dangerous plans that could cut Social Security benefits for New York seniors.

**Eric Massa said he would raise the retirement age for workers to receive Social Security benefits.

**Eric Massa wants to change the formula used to determine how much Social Security taxes we pay to provide benefits to today’s retirees.

Mailing #2: Nice looking, older couple with grandson giving his grandmother a kiss on the cheek – “You have betterthings to do than worry about Social Security.” On the back: “That’s why seniors can’t afford Eric Massa’s DANGEROUS plan for Social Security.”

**Eric Massa supports a dangerous plan that puts the Social Security benefits of today’s seniors at risk.If Eric Massa’s plan were to become law, seniors would need to worry about whether their current benefits will be there for them.

**Massa’s new funding plan could cut Social Security contributions by 25% – putting current retirees’ benefits at risk.

Vote NO on Eric Massa. He’s so extreme he’d jeopardize Social Security

Go and see for yourself Eric Massa’s Social Security position. Read exactly where he stands on this issue:

Let me start by saying this: I will not cut Social Security benefits.

I am an FDR Democrat. I believe Social Security has been our nation’s most successful domestic program,…

I oppose the privatization of Social Security,…

I believe we must stop robbing Social Security of the funding necessary to keep it solvent for the next generation.

Sadly, my opponent disagrees. If you want to know the truth about his record on Social Security, you need not ask me. Senior citizens across the district, and the organizations that represent them, have made it very clear that Randy Kuhl is WRONG on Social Security.

*** In House votes H.R. 8, H.R. 4297, H.R. 2830, H.Res. 653 and H.Res. 802, Randy Kuhl voted against the recommendations of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare 4 out of 5 times.

*** In the 2005 Special Report on Legislation Vital to American Retirees, the Alliance for Retired Americans gave Randy Kuhl a meager Pro-Retiree score of 10%.

*** The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) similarly gives Randy a dismal score of 25%.

President Bush has made it clear that the first thing on his agenda after the election is to privatize Social Security. Just last week, Randy Kuhl stated in an interview that one of his goals was to complete that “unfinished business.”

This is not just more talk—this is a very real threat to the well-being of senior citizens across this district and across America. We need representation in Congress that actually stands up to fight for our senior citizens—not just another rubber stamp for privatization.

In regard to raising the retirement age, Mr. Massa supports raising the retirement age for people currently ENTERING the system (i.e., 18 year olds) by 2 years. Social Security was never intended to last 30 years for the average person.

He also supports raising the cap on which you pay FICA payroll taxes from $90K, and doesn’t think that number has been adequately indexed to inflation. It is letting off the top wage earners in the USA without paying their fair share.

Mr. Massa’s changes would only affect you if you’re 18 years old or make more than $90K per year, and not for anyone currently working and paying into the system and NOT for anyone receiving benefits. (Don’t believe me? Call (607) 428-0390 and ask them yourself.)

So lets pick it apart and summarize. First, (and hear this LOUD AND CLEAR), current retirees’ benefits would not be affected. That point alone rips apart the strongly repeated scare tacticbeing used on “current retirees”. Under Massa’s plan, they have nothing to worry about regarding their Social Security benefits. I don’t think that at this point, any “current retiree” in this district is 18 years old. Beware the word “could”; “could” does not mean “would” (sly word twist there). “Changing the formula” means raising the contribution cap from the current level of $90,000. What’s so wrong with that point? Why should someone making over $90,000/year have the advantage of the discontinuance of the FICA tax, especially if the Social Security System is supposedly in “crisis” (or so I’ve heard). And, give me a better source than just “Salary.com” and “The Hill – 5/10/06”. Give me the exact URLs and article titles if you want me to find the sources credible.

Shame, shame, shame – picking on and scaring the elderly. Halloween is close, but this is not a nice trick to be playing on them. Where’s the treat?

 Excuse me, but I’m getting really sick and tired of this crap. I just feel sorry for those constituents, especially our seniors, who are believing this garbage. AND I MEAN GARBAGE. STOP SCARING AND LYING TO OUR SENIORS. IT’S CHEAP, DEMEANING, UNDERHANDED, MANIPULATIVE AND LOW. My goodness, what level of desperation lies beneath this effort?

So where does Rep. Kuhl stand on the social security issue? Don’t look for it on his campaign website under “Issues”, because this is what you will find:

Issues:  Jobs, Agriculture, Crime. Energy, Education, Health Care, Homeland Security, Trade, Transportation, Veteran Affairs, War on Terror

He’ll be the first to tell you about Eric Massa’s (supposed) position, but no where on the two ads I’ve received does it say one word on his position. Does he not want his constituents to know?

It looks like Rep. Kuhl is playing from this year’s Republican Election playbook. Take a look at this Washington Post article from yesterday:  The Year Of Playing Dirtier

On the brink of what could be a power-shifting election, it is kitchen-sink time: Desperate candidates are throwing everything. While negative campaigning is a tradition in American politics, this year’s version in many races has an eccentric shade, filled with allegations of moral bankruptcy and sexual perversion.
(snip)
The result has been a carnival of ugly, especially on the GOP side, where operatives are trying to counter what polls show is a hostile political environment by casting opponents as fatally flawed characters. The National Republican Campaign Committee is spending more than 90 percent of its advertising budget on negative ads, according to GOP operatives, and the rest of the party seems to be following suit. …
(snip)
But most harsh Democratic attacks have focused on the policies and performance of the GOP majority, trying to link Republicans to Bush, the unpopular war in Iraq and the scandals involving former representative Mark Foley and former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. That is not surprising, given that polls show two-thirds of the electorate thinks the country is going in the wrong direction. And studies show that negative ads can reduce turnout; Democrats hope a constant drumbeat of scandal, Iraq and “stay the course” will persuade conservatives to stay home on Nov. 7.
(snip)
“You’re going to see more of this sensational, off-the-wall stuff,” Iyengar said. “If you get people disgusted, they might withdraw from politics, and that’s the real goal these days.”

Both parties, in races throughout the country, are running negative ads. However, it looks as though the Democrats’ negative ads are based on truths; the Republicans’ negative ads are, at best, based on “truthiness”:

… the quality of stating concepts or facts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.

I don’t appreciate being taken for a moron who can’t see past this crap. I’m disgusted, and I don’t like what I’m seeing across the country. But I’m not withdrawing from politics. And, I don’t want you to, either. Dig through the muck and don’t take what you are seeing on TV and receiving in your mailbox as the gospel truth. If you are going to get disgusted, look deeper at these ads and direct your disgust towards the one(s) that are spending for and sending out this crap.

It reeks of desperation. If you can’t run on your own merits and run negative ads on core truths, then perhaps you don’t deserve to win and serve in an honorable position. How “honorable” are you if resorting to these tactics is your strategy for winning? How can we trust you? And, who knows how low you will go? Shame on all of the candidates who feel that slimy, sleazy and dishonest means are acceptable. What is this country in for these next ten days?

If you live in the 29th District, tell you friends and family the truth on the Social Security issue. Don’t let this misinformation form the basis of anyone’s vote. Step up to the plate and spread the truth, for the truth benefits all of us.

(I’m sorry for the long rant, but this needed to be said.)

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5 Comments »

  1. Thank you so much!!

    Comment by Kathy Bambrick — October 28, 2006 @ 4:29 pm | Reply

  2. […] Randy Kuhl’s latest ad, rightfully termed “offensive” and “disgusting” by Exile and others in a recent post, uses a sniper rifle scope aimed at seniors to take Massa’s words on Social Security out of context (The Rural Patriot lays waste to the falsehoods in the ad much better than I can).  But what caught my attention was Kuhl’s statement at the end: I regard Social Security a sacred trust. That’s how I voted. […]

    Pingback by rochesterturning.com: turning the tide upstate — October 28, 2006 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

  3. Guys this Social Security smear along withLaura B ush’s visit probably will be remembered as what shifted things in Randy’s direction. Today the Elmira paper is endorsing him. I agree with what others are blogging: This is a big big win for Randy. It may b e over for the Dems. Massa got swiftboated on Social Security?

    Comment by olean gal — October 29, 2006 @ 11:05 am | Reply

  4. Give it up, olean gal. You’re a fourth rate troll.

    Comment by TomT — October 30, 2006 @ 8:08 pm | Reply

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