The 2010 Election: Debate - A Glimpse At the Local Level

This is a glimpse into what the 2010 election looked like at the local level, and what a Central New York Tea Partier has in store for CNY if she wins.  I started research for this blog after the debate took place. It took me a long time to finish because I did my own transcription of the audio, and so the election in New York's 25th Congressional District had already taken place at the time this is being published.  The election is close here in the 25th, Onondaga County, where the majority lives came in heavy for Democrat Dan Maffei, but Wayne County where Tea Party Republican Ann Marie Buerkle had success gave her a slight lead of 625 votes. We are now waiting for the results from absentee ballots, a good deal of which are military, but most are from Onondaga County. This race got some national attention. American Crossroads GPS, Karl Rove's group targeted Maffei, and Sarah Palin endorsed Buerkle. However, President Clinton gave Dan his endorsement, and Democrats heavily supported Maffei.

This is a glimpse into what the 2010 election looked like at the local level, and what a Central New York Tea Partier has in store for CNY if she wins. 

 

I started research for this blog after the debate took place. It took me a long time to finish because I did my own transcription of the audio, and so the election in New York's 25th Congressional District had already taken place at the time this is being published. 

 

The election is close here in the 25th, Onondaga County, where the majority lives came in heavy for Democrat Dan Maffei, but Wayne County where Tea Party Republican Ann Marie Buerkle had success gave her a slight lead of 625 votes. We are now waiting for the results from absentee ballots, a good deal of which are military, but most are from Onondaga County.

 

This race got some national attention. American Crossroads GPS, Karl Rove's group targeted Maffei, and Sarah Palin endorsed Buerkle. However, President Clinton gave Dan his endorsement, and Democrats heavily supported Maffei.

 

 

Dan Maffei is his own man on many of the issues that were before Congress these past two years. He has his own issues concerning healthcare, like the rest of us do, but he voted for it. He didn't run on it, but in this debate, he didn't back away from it. He went after Buerkle on it. He showed backbone, and he called Buerkle on her nonsense.

 

But this is mostly a picture of what the Tea Party influence on Republicans looks like at the CNY level. Later in this post I attempt to show how much of a cookie-cutter candidate Buerkle is. Pray that she doesn't win, and if she should, please tell me if your "representative" looks something like her.

 

I only saw the first debate between Dan Maffei and Ann Marie Buerkle, but already I was disturbed by Mrs. Buerkle's views as she expressed them that night. 

 

Are we to return to the Nineteenth Century? Every response that Mrs. Buerkle gave was an indication that her answer to everything is in typical Tea Party fashion: to localize, and privatize. She seems to assume that experts are always wrong, and that the local hardy pioneers have an innate sense of what's right, and will always know what to do. Would that this were true.

 

One of the main questions that night dealt with education. 

 

In a world where we have been outcompeted for decades by nations like Japan and France, who have national programs to improve the quality of education for their youth, Buerkle's response is to eliminate the Department of Education:

 

I have come out in favor of abolishing the Department of Education. I believe, and I think that the movie "Waiting for Superman" is an indictment of the Department of Education.

 

And her remedy for the dismal state of our education?

 

The authority and the money should be given to back to the states, to the local governments. They know what's best for their communities. The Tenth Amendment provides for that. It's a state's rights issue.

 

"It's a state's rights issue?" That's funny because later in that same debate Mrs. Buerkle responds to the propriety of giving emergency funding to states for education this way:

 

Well, the situation with that $26 billion, $36 billion that was spent was that it was a bailout for the states for their bad behavior. They rewarded the states and they let then, and they gave them money to bail them out for their poor behavior, and their inability to have a budget and to pay their teachers.

 

Well, which is it Mrs Buerkle? You don't trust the federal government to help with the job, you invoke the Tenth Amendment, and yet you blame the states as well for the debacle? 

 

I see! It's the innate sense of the everyday parent that will save the day! Provided that parent has lots of money and can send their children to Mrs. Buerkle's great panacea - the private school. 

 

But let Mrs. Buerkle continue:

 

It's, if we're truly interested in educating our kids, and we want to do what's best for them, we let the parents make their choices. And I disagree with Dan, because if we enhance public education, and we give people a choice with private education. No child is left behind. That's the private sector getting involved. That's competition in the public schools. That's encouraging all youths to do well.

 

Of course, Mrs. Buerkle who wants to cut taxes will no doubt be at a loss to tell us how she intends to guarantee the vouchers that she promises will equalize parent's with less means chances to get into private schools. Those same schools that will continue to keep their own criteria for accepting or rejecting students for their specialized product. Not everyone deserves to make it into Mrs Buerkle's edu-paradise. 

 

You see, I think that Dan Maffei has this one right. The reason why we have public schools, the reason why each community should fight for it's local schools is that they belong to all of us. They are where the rest of us can get that chance that Mrs. Buerkle's Tea Party cohorts would deny us. 

 

And I'd like to know what will happen in the Tea Party paradise to other things like civil rights once federal involvement is diminished. Title 9 for instance, that enforces a women's right to an equal education in sports and athletic activity? Not to mention the various other guarantees of the civil rights that from time to are violated on the local level by well-meaning school boards?

 

At least Maffei has it right when he says that when he calls into question the reliability of admissions to private schools:

 

The public schools is where we all go. I don't know maybe I'm biased because I got a public school education, and it did just fine by me, or at least I think so. But I think that we need to focus on the public school for everybody. You know, the one great thing about the No Child Left Behind was that name, No Child Left Behind. With Mrs. Buerkle, it'd be a triage. It's like, 'Okay, we can save some kids. Maybe get them some sort of voucher to get them into private schools, but the rest? That's too bad!'.

"Working with the parents," Dan said,

and working with the local community. I think that's the best way to improve our schools. As a cooperative approach. Not: "We're going to go on our own. We're going to have private schools. And we'll starve public schools, and yes guess what? Eventually they will disappear." And even at the beginning of our republic, it was a national priority to make sure that people were well educated and everybody was well educated in a democracy.

 

As far as healthcare is concerned, I've a bone to pick with Buerkle. Is she serious when she says that when said: "We need to defund it. We need to repeal it?" Is she serious when she says: "It creates 16,000 new IRS positions.? 

 

First of all, she was wrong we she said that nobody wanted healthcare. That was not what the public said when 75% of the people in the US said they wanted a public option. Obama's big mistake was in not fighting hard enough for this. 

 

As for those 16,000 new IRS agents, here's the simple math: it's not all for tax law enforcement. Administrative costs are also part of the effort. You need to move the paperwork around. Secretaries, clerks, data researchers, IT specialists are necessary. The assumption that the money allocated to the IRS for creating the healthcare system is all for auditing is either erroneous, or willfully misleading. As Factcheck stated:

 

No desks? First, they assume that all the new "administrative" spending projected by CBO would go for payroll and benefits — without any allowance for desks, computers, office rent, utilities, travel or other overhead costs necessary to run any government enterprise. The partisan analysts simply divided the spending (which they figured could be $1.5 billion per year once the law is fully effective) by the current average payroll cost for the entire IRS workforce.

 

Also not taken into account by these so-called analysts is the fact that pay raises are inevitable.

 

No pay raises? The second false assumption is that there will be no inflation or pay raises over the next decade. They apply fiscal 2009 cost figures to budgets for 2014 through 2019. In fact, CBO currently projects that the Employment Cost Index will rise 1.4 percent next year and reach 3 percent per year in 2015 and thereafter. Even if the partisan analysis is valid, that would further reduce the maximum number that could be hired by another 1,000 in 2014, and by about 2,800 in 2019, by our calculations.

 

The sad truth is that Mrs. Buerkle's positions on these matters are not her's alone, but the sad delusions of a party so in denial that it wants to wish us all back to a mythical age where everything was simple, and we all knew our place. 

 

Are her positions any different from those of Rand Paul? No.

 

I would rather the local schools decide things. I don’t like the idea of somebody in Washington deciding that Susie has two mommies is an appropriate family situation and should be taught to my kindergardener at school. That’s what happens when we let things get to a federal level. I think I would rather have local school boards, teachers, parents, people in Paduka deciding about your schools and not have it in Washington.

 

Concerning healthcare, Sharon Angle's website has this to say:

 

Defunding ObamaCare is essential to the economic survival of the United States.

 

And she goes on to list what she would replace it with:

 

Sharron Angle suggests the followings possible solutions, which could be implemented across the nation, for the reduction of healthcare costs:   

 

Elimination of coverage mandates

Expanded client pools

Tort reform

Purchasing insurance across state lines

Tax credited health savings accounts

 

Sound familiar Central New York? 

 

Onondaga County with a city like Syracuse cannot afford the Tea Party. We are like a little Rust Belt in that jobs have gone away since Reagan. Solvay Process, New Process Gear to name a few. The city got saddled with an unfinished Destiny USA because the developer Robert Congel sapped us of money. And the Congels of the world are who Ann Marie Buerkle wants to trust the future of our country with? When the Tea Party-ers realize that they will have to entrust the health of their toddlers to an unregulated hospital, they will soon understand the value of good government. And maybe Mrs. Buerkle might take a second look this government she so much opposes that she wishes to join it. 

 

 

ADDENDUM:

 

I just heard about Keith Olbermann's suspension, and am asking anyone who reads this to boycott MSNBC until they put him back!

 

 

Tags: 2010 elections, Dan Maffei, Ann Marie Buerkle, Tea Party, Ny 25th District (all tags)

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