Politicians are well known to lie, er, prevaricate, er, exaggerate about their accomplishments.This is nothing new and no surprise. So, when Congressman Tom Reed of the NY-23 sends out campaign materials touting his support for Medicare or Social Security I am not impressed. Or bewildered. While Mr. Reed has voted to privatize Medicare he can, with a politician’s straight face, claim he supports it. Even has pictures taken with old people. What further proof do we need. But I give him a pass. After all, misinforming the voters about your real values, beliefs and income sources is how the game is played. Borderline dishonest? Yep. But we are big boys. We can see through it.
And when a politician stretches the truth about an opponent that is also part of the game. Like when Tom Reed’s people put up a website that claimed his opponent supports child molesters (Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul and Mary fame). Yarrow did do a fundraiser for Robertson. Now, stretching that to suggest she supports child molesters might remind you of the famous “Willie Horton” ad by George H. W. Bush. The one with the picture of the scary black guy who was furloughed from prison when Mike Dukakis was Governor. Absolute proof that Dukakis supports rapists, at least scary black rapists. In the nasty world of American politics all of this is now considered acceptable, while being slimy. Yet, acceptable.
So, lying about your own record. Acceptable. Insinuating that your opponent loves child molesters and rapists. Slimy, but acceptable. (Only an idiot would believe that stuff, after all).
But intentionally lying about your opponents positions on issues. That is a no-no. Or should be.
But this is what Tom Reed’s supporters have done. My proof? I am looking at a flyer from the GOP State Committee of NY.
First, It says that Reed’s opponent, Martha Roberston, does not support the 2nd Amendment ! What ! She does not support our right to own a gun? I need to hear more.
On the backside of the flyer it gives 4 big Xes followed by the following statements:
Supports Andrew Cuomo’s Safe Act
Failed to Sign a Pledge to Repeal Safe Act
LED the only county legislature in Upstate NY that REFUSED to call on Governor Cuomo to Repeal the Safe Act.
Voted to BAN RIFLE HUNTING as County Legislative Chair.
SAY NO to Martha Robertson’s plan to strip away our 2nd Amendment rights.
That’s it. The GOP has stated Martha Robertson has a PLAN to strip away gun rights. A PLAN. That is pretty insidious. So, let’s look at their facts, one at a time.
Martha SUPPORTS the Safe Act and lead the only county legislature that refused to call for a repeal of the Safe Act. Both of those statements are based on the Thomkins County legislature Meeting Minutes of April 2, 2013. BUT, when you read the summary of that meeting you realize that Martha Robertson did not LEAD the legislature to refuse to call for the repeal. In fact, you find that she VOTED in the MINORITY (5-10) against the resolution supporting the Safe Act. So, the two statements in this flyer, that she LED the legislature in voting to support the Safe Act and that she SUPPORTS the Safe Act are just plain FALSE. No two ways about it. FALSE.
The “rifle ban” for Thomkins County. Is accurate. Misleading but somewhat accurate. The county was asked to consider allowing rifles and after PUBLIC HEARINGS and listening to their constituents they voted no. Along with a few other upstate counties. Does this mean that there is a PLAN to take away your 2nd Amendment rights ? If so, it is a weird plan. Why? Because Thomkins County continues to ALLOW hunting with bow, muzzleloader, handgun and shotgun. Just like many other counties. If you want to hunt with a rifle you can drive to the next county and do so. The idea that a ban on a specific weapon, desired by a county, is somehow a PLAN to take away gun rights..well…FALSE.
The flyer says Robertson FAILED to sign a pledge to repeal the Safe Act. That seems to be the ONLY true statement in the entire flyer. TRUE (I hope). I say I hope because only an IDIOT would sign a pledge given to them by private citizens to support a private group. When you are an elected official you serve ALL the people. Taking a pledge to serve the interests of one group should be illegal. It is certainly unethical. And downright STUPID. Times change. New situations arise. A politician needs to be flexible. And a leader, not a follower. Pledges are for school children and politicians who don’t want to consider options.
Which brings me to Tom Reed. Tom HAS taken a pledge. A pledge to Grover Norquist. A private citizen. Not a resident of NY-29. A pledge not to raise taxes on Grover or any of the wealthy no matter what the consequences. Even if it means shutting down the government. No matter how situations and conditions change. I thought he also took a pledge to serve the people. A man cannot serve two masters (I just made that up).
So, Mr .Reed. Based on the flyer about your opponent, Martha Robertson, I have to say what we used to say on the playground when Cindy Lou was caught prevaricating once again: “LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE .”
(On a personal note. Please comment if you like or don’t like this post so I know if anyone other than the cat is reading these. Yes, Klyde reads these diligently)