Meeting Eric Massa

I met Eric Massa yesterday.  A 24 year veteran of the Navy, Massa is running in an upstate NY district that is beset with economic problems.  It traditionally leans a bit to the right, but there is a deep rage there against the status quo that suggests that incumbent Republican Randy Kuhl is vulnerable.  Kuhl, you'll remember, is a first-term Congressman who is famous for pulling a shotgun on his wife.  He's not well-liked in district, but he has lots of money.  If we're going to take Kurl out, the first reelection campaign is when it's going to happen.

I liked Massa.  His plan on Iraq is 'out is better than in', and 'sooner is better than later'.  And he has first-hand knowledge of what it's like to pull out of that part of the world, since he was in Desert Storm.  He told me it took 18 months to 2 years to pull out of that one, and that's without people shooting at the military.  On the other hand, Massa recognized that the 'I want a pony' punditocracy which is always demanding a plan from Democrats has it wrong.  I'm paraphrasing here but what Massa said is that it doesn't matter if Democrats in Congress have a plan, since Bush is still in charge of executing and he will screw it up.  The only thing Democrats can do is win in 2006 and stop Bush from screwing it up worse.  I liked that honesty.  He also said that oil is our number one national security problem, which to true and suggests a larger vision.

There was a lot more to it than that.  Massa is a new politician, but he's a good one.  So far, he doesn't have that much cash on hand, but the institutional spigots are starting to open as people realize Kuhl is vulnerable.  Massa blogs every Sunday on a bunch of blogs (including MyDD), and he says he'll keep doing it when he gets to Congress because it helps him communicate with more people and stay in touch.  

Anyway, that's not a huge write-up, but I didn't want to just let this meeting go by without mentioning it here.  Kos has a longer and better one, which you can check out.

The bottom line for me is that Massa is a leader, and we need some damn leaders in Congress.

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Bush Visit to NY 29 Will Backfire

Bumped b/c it's important to understand how surrogates fit into campaigns. Also Randy Kuhl is vulnerable. Matt

The last time President Bush came to upstate New York, the only results were that he got skewered on his plan to privatize Social Security and that he gave Randy Kuhl, my Republican opponent, a nickname - "Lollipop Man" - after he got a frozen treat stuck to his tongue while dining on Air Force One.

President Bush is scheduled to make a second stop in less than one year to upstate New York on Tuesday - this time to the 29th Congressional District city of Canandaigua, a small lakeside community, the likes of which you might see in tourist guides and a beautiful backdrop indeed.  

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Dubai Ports Deal: The Dark Underbelly Revealed

Last week I wrote about problems with the Dubai Ports Deal here.  I called it a "Shameless Sell Out of American National Security." This morning, on every Sunday morning news show, the firestorm over the Dubai Ports World issue continued to swirl unabated.  As a result of this national debate, many Americans now know that some eighty percent of our ports are administrated by foreign-owned companies, and by the time we are done with this discussion, a much larger portion of the American people will come to know just how much of the United States has been sold off piece-by-piece to foreign interests.

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Looking for info on NY-29 and NY-19

I'm looking for info on NY29, where Eric Massa is running against neanderthal first-term Congressman 'Shotgun' Randy Kuhl.  Kos profiled the race in December, and Larry Sabato thinks this one has an outside shot at flipping.

I'm also wondering if anyone knows much about NY-19, where 5 Democrats are competing for a primary slot against right-winger Sue Kelly.  The extremely well-done attack blog Take 19 is going viciously against Sue Kelly, allowing the Democrats to run a primary of ideass.

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A SALUTE TO VETERANS FOR A SECURE AMERICA

A Landmark Event in support of Democrats who have valiantly served our country and are now running for public office. Cosponsored by VetPAC and BandofBrothers2006.
Wednesday, February 8, 2006
(http://vetpac.org/SaluteInfo.html
http://www.bandofbrothers2006.org)

The election of 2006 will be known as the year vet candidates retook Congress. And we begin on February 8th when over 50 vets running for the U.S. House of Representatives and Congress will receive a salute in Washington, D.C. These are the Fighting Dem vets who will save us from the grips of those who would chart a course for America that distorts the values that have made America strong and good, disrupts the largest economy in the world so that our children and grandchildren will be paying off our national debt, destroys the working families and middle class that have been the bulwark of our nation, degrade our international image as a beacon of freedom and democracy in condoning behaviors that we have decried in the past, deprives our youth of the education they need to build their futures, and denies the elderly, the need and our vets the health care they need to revitalize their lives. These Fighting Dem vets will join their vet colleagues already in Congress to make America stronger and better than it has ever been.

You will notice that I have used the term "Fighting Dem Vets" because there are good and worthy candidates who are Fighting Dems who are not vets and today I wish to address the question of why should vet Brothers and Sister band together and receive your support. As a preliminary, I would like to make two points clear. First, we do not believe we are worthy candidates simply because we have served in the armed forces. This is not a single issue movement. In fact, the Fighting Dem Vets are motivated as much by the social and economic issues that face their homeland as they are about the threats that face us worldwide. Iraq, for example, should not be seen as an overriding issue with disregard for other vital concerns. Iraq is but one symptom of a domestic and international agenda that strikes at the heart of our nation. And it is all the symptoms, domestic and international, that must be addressed if we to save our nation from those who would destroy it.

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