I haven’t talked much about local or congressional races nor have I gone one of my traditional 3 state district hoping trips because my full time job precludes it, but there is a congressional race in my district that I care about, so I’d like to share with you a letter I sent to the editor of my local paper in support of Ann Wofford who is once again challenging Nikki Tsongas in my district.

There is one aspect of the race for the MA 3 district between incumbent Democrat Nikki Tsongas and Challenger Ann wofford that deserves more consideration by voters in the district in general and Fitchburg in particular.

Under our Constitution all spending bills must come from the House of Representatives, furthermore unlike the US Senate where the objection of a single member can slow down legislation, a member of the House has no such privilege meaning that to have influence on laws, you have to be in the majority.

In 2010 the GOP took the house in the “Big Red Wave”. They retained it during the 2012 election year and are expected to do so again in this election by a comfortable margin. Given GOP strength in midterm elections that means that Republicans will hold the house, and the power of the purse for the rest of this decade.

Wouldn’t it be good for the District in General and Fitchburg in particular, if for those last four years of this decade at least, it had a voice at the majority table when those spending decisions were being made?

As a conservative on issues like Obamacare Ann Wofford is a natural fit for my views.

But I submit and suggest that if you are a moderate or even a liberal who wants to be sure we get a fair shake when block grant and federal funds are allocated to the district in general and to Fitchburg in particular, you’ve got to have a vote that actually counts.

If we elect Ann Wofford to the House of Representatives we will. If we re-elect Nikki Tsongas we will not.

It’s that simple.

In fact there is one further point that for the sake of brevet I didn’t include in my letter to the editor.

If we elect Ann Wofford to congress she will be the only GOP member of the entire Massachusetts delegation. That means the amount of influence she will have will be amplified considerably, consider:

  • As the first GOP member of the House from Massachusetts in many years the GOP leadership would have a particular incentive to give ear to her positions to encourage her re-election.
  • As the only GOP member of congress from the state she would be the goto person for GOP governor Charlie Baker to advance legislative priorities for Massachusetts.
  • As the only member of the Massachusetts member of the majority pols from around the state including congressional democrats, would be coming to her for favors in the hopes of getting at least some hearing with the majority, that can’t help but put MA 3 in general and Fitchburg in particular in a better position vis a vis state spending and project.
  • Finally if we elect her THIS year, when the GOP majority increases during the midterms as it always does, Ann would have seniority over any newly elected members of the GOP majority that year increasing further the district and the city’s influence.

All of these political advantages are ours for the taking if we’re smart enough to elect Ann to congress this time around.

The golden days when Massachusetts congressmen like John McCormick and Tip O’Neill were House Speakers and we had real power in Washington are gone, but I submit and suggest that if you are a city counselor in Fitchburg, Lowell, Lawrence or Haverhill, who is looking to get funding for their needs,  particularly one old enough to remember those good old days, you should think long and hard before you send your people out to vote for Tsongas over Wofford and deny your city the power and influence that comes from the congressional majority.


If you’d like to help support independent non MSM journalism and opinion please consider hitting DaTipJar




Olimometer 2.52

Please consider Subscribing. Right now our subscribers consist of 1/50 of 1% of our total unique visitors based on last years numbers.

If we can get another 150 subscribers at $10 a month (another 1/10 of 1% of those who have visited this year) We can meet our annual goals with no trouble, with the same number of subscribers at $20 a month I could afford to cover the presidential campaign outside of New England firsthand.

And of course at that price you get the Da Magnificent Seven plus those we hope to add on and all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


Choose a Subscription level



Let me introduce you to Ann Wofford she is the GOP candidate running in the Massachusetts 3rd District for congress

Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching her debate incumbent Niki Tsongas in Devens Ma. and if you following my livetweet of the debate you would realize she is something special.

Tsongas is a practiced debater and a well spoken woman but Wofford not only answered questions directly but her plain-spoken opponent was not only more than a match for her but bluntly spoke truths that would make any Conservatives’ heart go pitter patter on comprehensive healthcare

On Obama

and Big government

Those three quotes: The Federal government is not here to save us, Nobody believes this president anymore and “Congress has shown it can’t to comprehensive anything” would all be best sellers at any GOP event nationwide and are sentiments that a majority of the country might support.

And when Niki Tsongas pushed a minimum wage increase as a panacea for women in distress & the middle class in distress Wofford bluntly answered “We live in two different worlds.” that pretty much sums up conservatives vs liberals on real life. I summed up the debate here

And livetweeted throughout the event. I didn’t shoot much video other than the closing statements

but the Lowell Sun site has video available. but that not what struck me about this debate.

as I mentioned when summing up this is the first time I’ve gone to a Tsongas debate and didn’t see a line of Niki Tsongas yard signs lining the road that you take to the debate, in fact if I didn’t know which road to take or have printed directions a person driving through the main road through Devens who have absolutely no idea this event was going on.

I submit and suggest this was deliberate, Tsongas is a good candidate but Wofford is an impressive woman and the last thing you want if you are an incumbent of the Gilligan party in one of the most depressed districts in a state is to highlight an opponent that simply radiates competence.

But that point raises another. It’s one week before election day. Why am I only now discovering this about Ann Wofford?

The district is considered relatively competitive, and Tsongas has several times barely cleared 50 percent against relatively unknown and outspent GOP opponents. There have even been competitive primaries for the chance to face her.

But this time, nobody stepped up—which is why, Wofford tells me, she decided to do it herself. “I just feel that is outrageous,” for the incumbent to go unchallenged, she says. “I do not feel that I am represented by my current congressperson, and I refuse to be told you have no choice.”

In a year when competence is the #1 issue, in an era where the left is constantly pushing the “anti-woman gop” lie don’t you think that a highly competent, poised woman who can go toe to toe with a long-term incumbent might be someone you want to push?  Particularly when you’ve only got three contested congressional seats in the state:

Wofford, a chemical engineer with 17 years in the private sector, was raised in Western Massachusetts and now lives in Haverhill with her husband and two daughters. She emphasizes fiscal responsibility, concerns about the Affordable Care Act (her husband works in New Hampshire, where just one provider participates in the health insurance exchange), and securing the borders against illegal immigrants. Her rhetoric, while not rabid by any means, is a bit too Tea Party-tinged for most of the state, but will resonate with a lot of people in that district.

So will her demands for more transparency in the federal government, and her charge of “dysfunction” in Washington politics. “It’s a separate world, where they help each other,” while the middle class stagnates, she says.

So you’ve got an intelligent, well educated and successful woman running in a competitive district and the party is doing squat to push her?  Excuse me?

If I was the in charge of pushing the GOP in the state neither I nor any of my surrogates would be making a media appearance without mentioning Ann Wofford. If I had a visiting out-of-state party member visiting I’d have Ann on stage to meet them. The moment any person from either the left or the press (but I repeat myself) breathed the words “War on Woman” I’d be throwing Ann Wofford in their faces.

At the very least, Wofford stands as a welcome female face for a Massachusetts Republican Party sorely lacking them. Good luck trying to remember the last Republican woman nominee, let alone winner, for Congress or U.S. Senate in the Bay State.

On the national level I understand the party not putting a lot of resources into Massachusetts because, well it’s Massachusetts one of only 4 states that Obama is not upside down but that doesn’t excuse people at the state level not getting the word out. Other than Mary Lotz, Frank Ardinger and Richard Shufford I haven’t even heard a person mention her name. let alone tweet it.

After all how are you going to get the national party to kick in to turn things around if you don’t even let them see when you have a diamond in the rough?

I admit that this is my first piece on Wofford this cycle & I should have gotten to her sooner but despite what some might think I’m not paid to promote the GOP (although hits to DaTipJar are happily accepted) and there are people in the party who are, hell I’m not even a republican.

Anyway her web site is here. She deserves your support and attention because this is a woman to watch even if you have to figure out to watch her on your own.

Update: Via the Lowell Sun & Fitchburg Sentinel the full debate video

I’d be tweeting this out all over if I was the GOP

Olimometer 2.52

If you think this blog’s coverage and what we do here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below

If course if you can do both, I’m  fine with that too.

Consider Subscribing to support our lineup of  John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

 

Got a call from Niki Tsongas for virtual town hall.

She is describing the shutdown, simply put no long term or short term bill passed blaming the house for not clean CR. Saying clear bill would pass, and advancing the idea that it’s all about the House. Talking the Senate clean CR, saying the bill should be passed.

Pushing the history of the passage of Obamacare again the whole, “it’s the law business” It’s a wonder the people fighting integration didn’t use these same arguments.

Now pushing the benefit of Obamacare.

Talking about the number of people who have visited but not the number of people who have actually signed up.

Talking about both sides of the aisle.

Terry from Clinton: If you are confident on Obamacare why isn’t congress signed up for it, why are some allowed to opt out?

Tsongas: Misinformation. Individual mandate everyone must purchase insurance as all Massachusetts people do. We will have to demonstrate coverage. cited husband’s illness as knowledge of this issue.

Noting Sen Grassley forced congress on the exchange notes federal government will continue to provide kick in, says it’s “fair” for them to continue to get subsidies as most people looking for jobs look to see what benefits are offered.

Colleen from Haverhill: Why is congress still getting paid?

Tsongas: Congressional pay is mandated by constitution people have to decide to not take it. Mentions no gov no pay act of 2013. I will not be accepting pay & will return it.

Steven from Fitchburg: Anything we can do to force the vote?

Tsongas: continue to push 88% in poll said that they wanted the vote. gave link to survey

Brian from Gardner: What are we going to do if nothing happens by the 17th.

Tsongas: The votes are there if it takes place, Debt should be looked at but ceiling shouldn’t be held hostage. Talking about sequestration, not a fan but has cut spending. Stock Market starting to show trembles. We have to stay at it. Should look at medical device tax later. Must honor spending in place.

Roger from Lowell: Budgets were passed this year, no conference committee, talk about that.

Tsongas: Talks regular order Says Ryan budget too many cuts but it passed & senate passed budget 1st time in years. Normal process is conference committee. Describes how a conference normally works. Says House GOP will not go to conference. Need long term solution & end sequester. We need targeted spending cuts & new taxes (revenues is how she put it)

Charlene from Marlborough: Disillusioned with Democrats. I pay for my healthcare I don’t have wavers, why should some get wavers & not me. Not seeing fairness. Disgusted with the WW 2 vets memorial asked for help on that.

Tsongas: Sorry we lost you, thanks for hearing us through. Unfortunate that shutdown effected vets. I do know an effort was made to allow them in. Father survived Pearl Harbor attack. Glad they are able to find a way forward (doesn’t mention Barrycades®) On insurance more expensive to have people uninsured due to bankruptcy and cover those who can’t. Reforms help benefit everyone, talks pre-existing condition coverage.

Glenn from Gardner: When will president Obama stop capitulating to GOP? Entirely Republican Bill

Tsongas: You’re right, based on Romneycare, says it’s a Heritage bill. Debate on public option just wasn’t the votes at the time.

Jane from Haverhill: Are federal employees being paid

Tsongas: 800k employees are not, but last week house voted on Employee retroactive pay act, passed strongly bi-partisian. Some comfort that will come.

John from Haverhill: asked about signatures already gotten. Is there a legal reason.

Tsongas: Speaker has absolute control but there is a discharge petition, takes a month, needs majority. Democrats will sign it, don’t know if house GOP will sign. Majority has control it’s how house works. He holds the cards unless the American People produce outside pressure. Hope it happens.

John from Clinton: Want them to take a vote, in favor of Obamacare it’s already law.

Tsongas: Letter to editor, happy with Obamacare because of college kids still on plan. Saved over $4k because they could after car accident.

Annie from Fitchburg: Why does the president not just go pass the debt ceiling on his own? Loves affordable car act.

Tsongas: Saw an article about WalMart making more employees full time as an attraction to better workers. Says more businesses in MA offered health insurance.

Jim from Lowell: Disagree, as independent, I don’t want straight line vote, only opportunity to force a meeting. I see socialized medicine and those people come here.

Tsongas: I think linking the two (government shutdown & obamacare) is a bad idea. Says president did negotiate in sequester, hoped for long term solution. This will harm our economy.

Michael from Gardner: (question was answered so comments on companies at one time taking care of employees and not happening anymore. Inundated with the uninsured. Upset with Speaker of House

Tsongas: Just starting to recover credits end of high income Bush Tax Cuts for more revenue. Call ill afford shockwaves. No insurance is hardship on hospital. More insured more reimbursement.

________________________

Out of time didn’t get to ask my question left it as voice mail

1. Question the point of compromise is to find things you can agree on. The House has passed several funding bills with bi-partisan votes to fund NIH, monuments & vets, will you urge Harry Reid to bring these bi-partisian bills up for a vote?

Niki Tsongas has a piece published in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune that take a short at some of the effects of the Sequester:

Several months ago the manager of the Lawrence Municipal Airport notified my office that as a result of sequestration, automatic government spending cuts that went into effect in February, 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) planned to close the air traffic control tower, costing jobs, economic growth and impacting safety at an airport that has seen an increase in flight traffic in recent years.

Airports across the country also faced furloughs for their air traffic controllers, which not only forced pay reductions to workers but also created severe logjams and delays for travelers. No doubt countless people experienced the logjam and received similar messages as I did from their chosen airline warning about delays due to sequestration.

She gives it a roundhouse right:

Enacted as motivation for Congress to find a comprehensive solution to America’s economic woes, these automatic cuts, commonly referred to as sequestration, were never meant to take place. The cuts are split evenly between defense and other government programs, blindly slashing the top off of federal agency budgets. Resources many citizens utilize on a daily basis are at risk, including educational opportunities, senior citizen meal assistance programs and public safety initiatives.

My friend and sometime guest Tim Imholt a likely 2014 opponent sent me a copy of a letter he sent to the paper in response saying in part:

While I agree with her statement that a “piecemeal approach” or to be blunt, these draconian methods of avoiding real governing are simply unacceptable I have a problem with her actions.

The good Congresswoman somehow failed to mention one crucial fact – that she voted in favor of the sequestration cuts.

For something before being against it, I know I’ve heard that from someone from Massachusetts before…

So, perhaps next time, the good Congresswoman should fill in the voting public on her voting record before she demonizes the legislation she obviously, once upon a time, supported.

I don’t know, she spent a lot of time in 2012 attacking the medical device tax she helped pass so I don’t see why that would change now.

Just a reminder Massachusetts, we do this to ourselves.

…but as I mention in my Examiner piece she is earning my respect for this reason:

While one might question her definition of transparency on the part of the White House there is no question of her own. She took more than a dozen questions from different voters, invited others to leave recorded messages. Asked several poll questions to get feedback from all people on the call and not only didn’t exclude people who disagreed her she proactively called them to be invited to the event.

That willingness to engage can’t but help in 2014 which promises to be a tougher election than the last. Agree or disagree on issues one can’t help but note the first job of a Representative is to treat the voters you represent properly.

No rep can vote the way all their constituents want but they can give everyone a fair hearing for their views.

Wednesday Congresswoman Niki Tsongas came to the Fitchburg Public Library for her first event in Fitchburg since being sworn in as the representative in congress for the 3rd district.

tsongas 001

The event: “Congress on your Corner” consisted of one on one (or two on one) meetings with various constituents from the district.

tsongas 002

The format was surprise to most of the people who arrived expecting a town hall-style event. At least one person who came decided to leave thinking the format was not conducive the type of open public debate she was looking for.

Personally I think the one on one setup is a good idea. Most people don’t get a chance to meet their representative in congress let alone get private time face to face.

The event was announced through robo-calls (I received one myself), through the local paper. and via her site. I arrived about 30 minutes early and only a handful of people were waiting but by the time Congresswoman Tsongas arrived the crowd continued to grow until it was well over 35.

Local Pols were well represented no fewer than 4 members of the Fitchburg City Counsel attended. Mayor Lisa Wong was there, and State reps Jen Flanagan & Steve DiNatale also came.
tsongas 004

Congresswoman Tsongas met the local pols en mass near the start She commented those meetings are important because “…they are tasked with managing the affairs of the community.”

tsongas 008

Due to the number of people there about 3 minutes were allocated per person (or pair who choose to go in together) but even with a short period of time the I think it’s a good thing for voters to meet their member of congress one on one.

Local republicans were well represented. A regular guest to my show Mary Lotz had some time with the congresswoman and was unimpressed

People had different agendas, the Local Imam Bashir Uddin Mehmud & his son came to introduce himself and the local Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to the congresswoman while Robert Landry had a question concerning film-making in Devens. Both were interested in a local congressional office in the city.

The Press was well represented, the Worcester Telegram and the Sentinel & Enterprise were both there talking to both voters and Congresswoman Tsongas. When the event was over the Congresswoman gave me a few minutes of her time.

She did say she would be doing town halls both standard and electronic.

Her aides were very cooperative (one is a HUGE Dr. Who fan) and the Congresswoman took some time to speak to me as she left. As one of her constituents I stressed cutting spending first on the budget.

I’m sure over the next two years we will be disagreeing a lot and I’ll be calling her on those disagreements but as for this event, I think it was a proper use of her time. There is no more important thing a member of congress can do than meet with the people who elect them.

Today we have a special Bonus commentary where I go through the choices on my ballot and tell you who I will be voting for and why.

As you might guess there are not a lot of surprises here but if you want to know the reasoning behind it here is your chance.

“I don’t make that tax pledge to just Grover Norquist, I make that tax pledge to every hard working man and women in this room here today!”

Jon Golnik at yesterday’s debate

Yesterday Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and challenger Jon Golnik met for their third and final debate before the election next month at Fitchburg State University.

The Crowd outside was loud

And there was some Gary Johnson supporters in the crowd too:

And the Crowd inside was not bad either

And included some local pols

The Panel represented the Sentinel & Enterprise and the college:

As for the debate itself I thought Golnik has his best debate, helped by an active crowd, he pressed his advantage on several questions such as Libya

and Taxes:

and I thought his Are you better off than you were before theme continues to score point in a community that is frankly depressed:

Tsongas’ best moments were concentrating on her service, on Military students:

And Transportation:

There was real substance in this debate and a real contrast between the candidates. Golnik had the line of the night when challenged over signing the Norquist pledge

“I don’t make that tax pledge to just Grover Norquist, I make that tax pledge to every hard working man and women in this room here today!”

I think Golnik clearly won this round but his biggest problem is getting his message that has appeal in this district out there. Considering that Scott Brown took the district by 15 points that Brown’s name was not invoked AGAIN by him totally confuses me.

Golnik is underfunded by a National GOP that doesn’t see the opportunity in this district, he can win if properly backed in the home stretch to get his message out. Will they and can he will be the deciding factor in this race.

Here are the remaining questions from the debate: Continue reading “Golnik Tsongas Round 3 in Fitchburg the Video”

My latest for the examiner Will Niki Tsongas be better off than she was two years ago? highlights a rather amazing answer to a question during the October 10th debate against GOP opponent Jon Golnik.

Ms Donelan asked if we are better off than we were two years ago, and the congresswoman’s answer was this:

“I absolutely believe we are better off than four years ago”

And she followed up this answer giving credit to the president’s policies for producing the result she touted.

In a solid blue state a democrat might attempt to make such a case with a straight face but nationally an attempt to say such a thing is a recipe for disaster.

And considering the reaction from the Jon Golnik campaign, it might not be that safe a case to make even here.

When asked for comment Alicia Preston adviser for the Golnik campaign said this:

“That makes as much sense as saying social security is solvent. That’s the problem with living in an ivory tower, you are thoroughly out of touch.”

In just over three weeks we will find out if the district agrees.

If there was ever an opportunity for Mr. Golnik to make up his 7 pt deficit this is it.

While the rest of the known world was following the Scott Brown/Elizabeth Warren debate in Springfield Niki Tsongas and Jon Golnik were at Devens for the 2nd of 3 debates in the 3rd district race.

Just like last time there were plenty of signs

for both sides

I spoke to a Golnik supporter

a Tsongas Supporter

And took a peek outside

At a little after 8 PM the candidates were ready

The Panel from the Sentinel & Enterprise, The Sun and the AP was ready

And the Q & A began:


Continue reading “Golnik Tsongas Rnd #2 plus bonus State race!”