Thursday, August 03, 2006

NY25 Heat Wave: Maffei's Race Against Walsh is Kicked Up a Notch

NY25 Heat Wave: Maffei's Race Against Walsh is Kicked Up a Notch

Rubber Stamp Walsh Votes for Bush Agenda 88% of the Time

Below you will find many recent articles about Dan Maffei, New York's 25th district Democratic challenger to incumbent House Representative Jim Walsh.

Last week, Dan held a press conference calling for a 'windfall profit' tax on oil companies in light of the recent revelation that Exxon-Mobil made a whopping 36% more, in one short year, off the backs of Americans at the gas pumps - a shameful profit at a time when Americans are having a hard time paying the bills. It's more than his political opponent James Walsh has done for the people of teh 25th district. He is also pushing serious research into alternative fuels (details here, scroll to "Manhattan project for energy independence").

Click photo above to view a Maffei for Congress ad called "The Plan"

Dynamic Vision for Upstate New York
The War in Iraq
Science & Innovation
Health Care
Jobs & Economy
Social Security

from Maffei for

House Republicans face tougher races
Boston Globe - August 3
...Entrenched Republicans are running harder than ever because of voter hostility toward President Bush and Congress. [..] Walsh, a nine-term incumbent who had no Democratic opponent in 2004 and whose father served in Congress, has dominated the politics of his New York district for years. But his pollster, Jeff Stonegash, said surveys indicate Bush's unpopularity could pose a risk to Walsh and other Republicans.

Candidates come together on stem cell research
News 10 Now, NY - Aug 1, 2006
...Two democratic congressional candidates joined forces at a news conference to discuss stem cell research. [..] Both Michael Arcuri and Dan Maffei voiced their concerns on the recent vote to uphold a veto on federal funding for stem cell research. [..] The candidates disagree with the way current congressman Jim Walsh voted, and say the research should be allowed to continue.

Note: Dan Maffei's speech on President Bush's veto of stem-cell research can be read here.
"I am disappointed President Bush vetoed a bi-partisan piece of legislation being supported by the vast majority of Americans including conservative Senator Orin Hatch, Senator John McCain and Nancy Reagan. I am more disappointed that Jim Walsh once again voted with George Bush, showing that he acts as a rubberstamp for the Bush Administration."

House Republicans come out swinging
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, NY - Jul 30, 2006
....The ads for Walsh and Reynolds don't address hot-button national issues such as immigration, the war in Iraq or stem-cell research, but focus instead on local, personal topics.
[It looks to me like Rep. Walsh is hiding from Bush and the national Republicans in the light of day - thinking and/or hoping no one will examine his actual voting record.]

NY 25th District: I like Walsh's challenger!
Daily Kos - July 30, 2006
...I would strongly and warmly urge all in Central NY (and elsewhere) who may be unaware that Walsh has a challenger to feel free to take a close look at Mr. Maffei, to see how they feel. For me, Walsh's votes to support "The Decider" (ahem, ahem) on his veto of federal funding for stem cell research, provide any additional justification (if I needed any) to hope he may soon become one of our soon-to-be "former Congresspersons".

Related story on the stem cell issue in Upstate New York here at WROC8 in Rochester NY - July 20, 2006
....Seeing as how he feels the president used props in the form of so called "snow flake babies" in announcing his veto Wednesday, Ramesh Padman brought a few his own, namely his lab coat and biology degree, to his one man protest Thursday outside the office of Congressman Randy Kuhl, who sided with the president, and presided over the house vote which failed to override. "Our congressman decided to put politics over science."

Gas prices continue to soar
News 10 Now, NY - Jul 27, 2006

State by State
The Hill, DC - Jul 24, 2006

United Healthcare Workers Union rallies for Maffei
News 10 Now, NY - Jul 20, 2006

Slate of lively races on agenda
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, NY - Jul 19, 2006

Upstate New York: A Wealth of Pickups
Daily Kos - July 17, 2006
excerpts -

This was the only Republican district in the state to go for Kerry in 2004; it has a PVI rating of D +3. This largely urban district, which mainly encompasses the Syracuse area, at one time was a Republican stronghold, though like most other Northeastern urban districts has largely been trending towards the Democrats, especially since the early 1990s. Since 1992, the Democratic presidential candidate has carried this district every time, although the people continue to ticket-split and give commanding margins to the entrenched, right-leaning Republican incumbent James Walsh. The Democratic opponent is Dan Maffei, who really doesn't have that much name recognition and has been outraised by Walsh so far by nearly a 5 to 1 margin. Even with this districts increasingly leftward voting habits, James Walsh is still popular with most of his constituents and is favored by most political analysts to win. I think it can easily become more competitive, though, by this November (especially if anti-Bush sentiment increases here in Upstate N.Y.)

Walsh foe's path to nomination cleared
The Hill, DC - Jul 10, 2006
....Democratic House candidate Dan Maffei's primary opponent dropped out of the race yesterday, giving the former congressional aide a clear path to the nomination.[..] "The 2006 elections are about changing the direction of the country," Capanna said in a statement. "The way to do that is to avoid a primary and to stand together in our efforts to defeat Mr. Walsh."

NY-25: And then there was one...and no primary
Daily Kos - July 10
...Make no mistake about it, Maffei still has one hell of an uphill battle. Walsh won something like 90% of the vote in 2004. But there's been at least one promising poll that puts Maffei within striking distance, and if he can afford to run TV advertising in both Rochester and Syracuse, he just might have a shot.

NY 25: Capanna Drops Out; Walsh Will Face Maffei This Fall
By Marie Horrigan - Jul. 10, 2006
...The 25th Congressional District, which runs from Webster to Syracuse, may have a Working Families Party primary between Democrat Daniel Maffei and author Christina Rosetti, who currently lives downstate and outside of the district.

More news briefs
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, NY - Jul 8, 2006
....Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on Thursday stumped for congressional candidates in upstate New York and raised about $35,000 for two Rochester-area hopefuls. Emanuel, who is steering Democratic efforts to try to take control of the House in November, held a luncheon fundraiser for Democrat Daniel Maffei in Syracuse and an afternoon fundraiser for Democrat Eric Massa in Brighton. Emanuel said upstate New York is a prime region for Democrats to beat longtime Republican incumbents.

Dan has garnered the politically-coveted and impressive support of many Labor unions in the 25th district:

Teamsters Local 1149, represents nearly 1,700 workers. The largest facility is the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Baldwinsville, NY.

The United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW Local One) represents 24,000 members in New York.

Communications Workers of America, represents 80,000 workers in New York State.
American Postal Workers Union Local 257, represents nearly 1,000 members in Upstate New York.

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, represents 17,000 members in New York State.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 97, represents over 5,000 members in Central New York.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2213, represents nearly 1,200 members in Central New York.

Teamsters Local 317, represents 3300 members and 2100 retirees in Central New York.

SEIU Local 1199, New York’s largest organization of health care workers, represents nearly 300,000 workers, including 3,600 workers in New York’s 25th District.

United Steelworkers of America, representing over 10,000 workers in Central New York.

For those who are following the race closely, don't miss the Syracuse-based blog The Walsh Watch. [It isn't my blog, FYI]. See Extra Credit Assignment to figure out who votes with Bush 88% of the time and is unlikely to change anytime soon. Walsh's Minimum Wage Hypocrisy is easily seen on this post.

Beware The Blog

Beware The Blog

Phil Boas comments on the age of the blog at He makes the important point that not all blogs are equal. Stereotyping all of them as mills of gossip and untruths is not the fair thing to do in the case of many of today's online journals. Another point that Mr. Boas brings out is that blogs are self-policing. If you fail to fact-check, you're sure to be found out by your peers.

Turkey Moving Farther From US/Israel

Turkey Moving Farther From US/Israel

When a broken hipbone is set, you don't put undue pressure upon it because a re-break could possibly cause the kind of damage that could ensure the hip will never heal properly.

Think about the relationship between Israel and Turkey since the early 1990s. The spread of Islamic radical revolution has appeared to both Turkey and Israel as a threat since both countries' governments are non-Islamic. Both countries have a stake in improving international (and bilateral) cooperation against the perpetrators and sponsors of terrorism. Turkey and Israel have both had close relationships with the United States. The fear, on Turkey's behalf, that improved relations with Israel would have damaged Turkish contacts and interests in the Arab world seems to be coming real.

The public opinion in Turkey right now is bringing Prime Mimister Erdogan to the forefront calling for a ceasefire. Turkey has been very sympathetic and outwardly generous to the people of Palestine who seem to be isolated recently by the world because they've excercised democracy in their country, electing a Hamas majority.

In the case of the relatively new, delicate, and once-hopeful alliance between the nations of Turkey and Israel, you have the case of the hipbone on the mend (a fragile nation-to-nation relationship) and you have Israel's brutal bombardment of Southern Lebanon. Qana has been the catalyst for Israel losing moral authority, and there are some disturbing warning signals coming from the Turkish population.

MP Yildiz Resigns From Turkey-israel Friendship Group
....Serpil Yildiz, a MP from the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN), resigned from her post in the Inter-parliamentary Turkey-Israel Friendship Group, to protest Israeli offensive against Lebanon and Palestine. [..] In a petition she sent to the Parliament Speaker`s Office, Yildiz said, ``Israel has been trampling on all values created by the humanity in the history. Its offensive against Lebanon and Palestine has been gradually turning into an atrocity and massacre.`` [..] ``Unfortunately all powers, including the United Nations, have remained silent against those inhuman acts. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes. Hospitals, public buildings, tourism centers and crowded dwellings were bombed, and everyone including children, women and elderly became target of Israeli attacks,`` she stressed.

Deputies fleeing Turkey-Israel friendship group
...The resignations have now reached 25.

Israeli Families Attacked In Turkey
...According to Eyal [Yakar], it was the incident in Qana that affected Turkish treatment of his family [of tourists]. "After the bombardment of Qana, they changed, because, typically, they're very pleasant. People on the bus also swore at us."

Protests in Ankara against UN Failure to Stop Israeli Aggression
...A group of Turkish peace activists protested the United Nations in Ankara for its failure to stop the Israeli aggression against Lebanese civilians.[..] Some 60 members of the Civil Servants Union (Memur-Sen) gathered in front of the UN building in Ankara on Wednesday, chanting slogans against Israel and the UN, reports Trend. [..] Memur-Sen General Director Ahmet Aksu said Israel had killed hundreds of people including children in attacks on Lebanon. [..] Aksu condemned the UN for its failure to secure a ceasefire and to stop the Israeli aggression. [..] "We are protesting the UN for its failure to stop the massacre of innocent children." [..] The protestors laid a wreath at the UN building and hung a baby's soother on the door of the building.

Prime Minister Erdogan: Israeli Offensive Plants Seeds of Hatred
...Erdogan said the eruption of tension in the Middle East may turn into a clash of civilizations, and the United Nations (UN) faces a major threat to the peaceful principles it represents. [..] “If we do not raise our voices today and say ‘stop’ to this war and offer a peaceful alternative, tomorrow it will be too late. [..]Erdogan said the outbreak of violence in the Middle East and ongoing security problems have made Turkey impatient, and added: “It is a must that this war ends immediately. The sensitive balance of the Middle East can not stand up to tension. [..]

Strident public protests mount in Turkey over Israeli aggression in Lebanon
... Government and popular campaigns of denunciation and condemnation have become more strident in Turkey, with the advent of the twentieth day of the Israeli aggression against Lebanon. [...]Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul cautioned that the feelings of hostility towards Western nations were rising in Turkey, noting that "moderate and liberal people in Turkey tend to becom hostile because of these operations. [..] " The ranks of the peace-loving people in Turkey have united after the Israeli dawn bombardment of Qana in which more than 60 civilians were killed and a wave of anger in Turkey have surfaced.

Any fool, if they can see what's happening in the Middle East, will tell you that the new set of "birth pangs" being witnessed by Condi Rice is actually the Middle Eastern governments finding new ways to separate themselves from the U.S. and Israel because they can no longer work with their world view. [See Fethullah Gulen's post about the Abant Platform/OIC. See author/journalist Cengiz Candar's op-ed regarding Ms. Rice and the neocons of D.C.]

There's nothing like a bunch of fundamentalist ideologues helping our ally Israel to isolate herself in the heat of her passion in the middle of an angry sea of surrounding communities.

You sure don't birth no babies that way!

Hardliners in D.C., especially Dick Cheney and his band of neocons, should step back and allow Condoleeza Rice to do her job.



An Appeal for Leadership
Why Hasn't the World's Lone Superpower Stopped This Tragedy?
By Abdullah Gul
Washington Post op-ed

Kate O'Bierne is having a cow over at NRO and using pretzel logic to lead only the delusional to believe that the U.S. should not be expected, by other nations in the region, to use the obvious power they have to convince Israel to stop killing innocent people and destroying their cities - causing 25% of Lebanon to be thrown into a grave humanitarian crisis. She accuses Abdullah Gul of insincerity, saying, "It's not a plea for the U.S. to take the lead."

No? It surely looks that way to me, Kate. I've been covering Turkey on this blog closely since this recent conflict began. I have no doubt these people are sincere. But - is Kate?
The U.S is reflexively denounced for acting alone to handle problems without the prior consent of the international community and then is the subject of whining and criticism when it does not take the lead in acting, even to the point of being criticized for not acting alone.
You can't convince me that this line of thinking is intellectually honest - or even rational.

I've denounced Bush many times myself for going half-assed into his Iraq madness without a plan or good faith international cooperation. I now call upon him, as Abdullah Gul does, to use every bit of power and influence he has to finally be the leader America deserves.

No matter how hard Kate O'Bierne attempts to "freedom-fry" Turkey as so many errant pundits did in the case of France circa 2002, it looks like willful ignorance to say that Bush doesn't deserve this blasting. He should have used every waking moment to get Israel to use some restraint before 1000 innocent people died in Southern Lebanon - many of them children. Perhaps political writers are totally out of touch with the hearts and minds of the people of this world. How can they be so blind?

Ref: U.S. Watches Dreams of Transformation Dissolve, an analysis by Jim Lobe


I Recommend These Articles/Posts:

How to Bring Peace to the Middle East
by Asad Yawar

Arabic Books in the Markets of Istanbul
Lorelle VanFossen


- The Bush administration has responded to criticism levelled at it by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, saying that Washington’s position was at variance to that depicted in an article written by the Turkish diplomat on the situation in Lebanon. US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack defended the US stand on the war in Lebanon during a press conference Friday. [MSNBC]


- Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has an opportunity at today’s gathering of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Malaysia to reveal Turkey’s role in ending the Middle East crisis, and express his thoughts over the possibility of deploying peacekeeping forces to Lebanon.Erdogan will return to Ankara after his four day trip to grant his official recognition to the Supreme Military Court’s decision regarding new appointments in Turkey’s military, reports Trend. The Turkish PM will have the opportunity to conduct mutual talks with leaders from other Islamic countries at this summit, in particular Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Erdogan is expected to organize a private meeting with the Iranian president after the summit, which coincides with a time of intense focus on Iran over its involvement in nuclear projects and its impact on Hezbollah. []


- From an LA Times editorial Turkey's Balancing Act:
What Truman knew then holds true today: Turkey remains the physical, cultural and strategic bridge between East and West. Lately, it has been reasserting that role, even at the expense of alienating its old Western allies. The United States and Europe need to prepare for and manage the inevitable disagreements ahead while soliciting a greater Turkish role in the troubled Middle East, beginning in Lebanon. [...]
Regarding the benefits that would come with the acceptance of Turkey as a leading participant in an international peacekeeping force [Turkey demands an immmediate ceasefire before agreeing to do it]:
[...]Turkey would get a chance to boost its regional profile and pursue a more assertive — and popular — foreign policy while bolstering its ties to the West. Better to maintain a shaky balance than to lose the only secular Muslim ally the U.S. has.


Ale Bulac asks: What Can Turkey Do? [Zaman] He answers his own question with his opinion:
The killing of a Lebanese by the Turkish soldiers even if by accident will deeply hurt us all. Public opinion in Turkey would not support such an arrangement.The public opinion in Turkey have to act with common sense on this issue.

What Turkey must do at this stage is first increase the humanitarian, (Medicine, food, clothing, water, and financial) aid to the Lebanese and Palestinians. Secondly it must take diplomatic steps with its allies the US, NATO and the EU, warn them on the dangers facing the region and potential consequences to all..Apart from these, it must follow a diplomacy that will motivate and encourage the Islamic countries, Egypt, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, to form together an alliance hat will pressure the west for a just solution to the problem.