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Archive for July 23rd, 2006

How do state politicians use campaign money?

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We shouldn’t overlook how our representatives in state legislatures raise and spend money.

Matt Spina of The Buffalo News offers a real eye-opener about New York state legislators’ use of campaign money for babysitters, season tickets for sports events, payments for cars and such.

See Matt’s Sunday front-pager here.

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 23, 2006 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

An ode to the motivation of a House vote (money, perhaps?)

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Who knew the United States needed a free trade agreement with Oman? Apparently, my representative in Congress, the Hon. John R. “Randy” Kuhl, did, because he voted for it along with 220 of his GOP colleagues.

No matter where you stand on free trade agreements (bad for national security, helping out a “stalwart” friend in the Mideast, bad for workers’ rights in Oman or a host of other reasons), you’d hope that our representatives in Congress would study such an issue carefully.

You’ll recall that these are the folks who leave D.C. Thursday afternoon to politick and fundraise in their districts, then return on Tuesday morning to spend much of their time in party offices making fundraising phone calls. These are the folks who will likely spend only 100 days in session in this Congress. (See earlier post.)

So did Rep. Kuhl study this issue carefully? Or did he decide to help out a pal, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), who sponsored the legislation? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 23, 2006 at 12:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Story on Kuhl, Massa campaign money could be better

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My representative in Congress placed on his Kuhl for Congress Web site under the head “Kuhl Way Ahead in Money Race” a copy of a story about his and his opponent’s campaign finances.

The story, from their hometown newspaper, has Rep. John R. “Randy” Kuhl, R-Hammondsport, and his Democratic challenger, Eric Massa, trading barbs about who’s raised the most money in and out of the district.

The story — it at least addresses campaign finance — just doesn’t dig deeply enough. If the reporter had used easily available information on Web sites I’ve mentioned many times, a little more time and a calculator, he might have produced a more insightful story. The story could have expanded beyond “he said vs. he said” to how much both have raised out of the district as a percentage of their totals.

It could have shown the financial connections between the top Democratic and GOP House leaders and Rep. Kuhl and Mr. Massa.

Pardon the ego, but compare my take with that of the Corning Leader story. Leader readers could be better served with a little more digging.

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 23, 2006 at 12:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized