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October 24, 2008 - 11:44pm

The Boiling Point

posted by Daniel Jones in Alice Kryzan, Joe Mesi, Chris Lee, Mie Ranzenhofer.

The Republican Party has been taken over by a bunch of kooks"-Barry Goldwater.

 

Since I was a small child I remember watching with a certain awe the political audacity and committment to which Western New Yorkers, especially in my home county of Genesee, committed themselves to not only political candidates but their ideas as well. Everywhere I went growing up, whether it was in Dunkin Donuts or the grocery store everyone had an opinion around election time. No matter who you were for, you were for someone and you had an opinion on everyone.

Why then, is this predominantly Republican county now registering more Democrats than Republicans? Why are even Republicans coming in our small, rural county committee's office asking for Obama/Biden, Mesi and Kryzan signs?

Perhaps their just not falling for the same old tired talking points anymore, maybe they realize what an aged Barry Goldwater said during the rise of the Religious Right (see above quote)......

We have two major competitive races in our county, one for State Senate and one for Congress. In our State Senate race we have a 20+ year incumbent Erie County legislator, a legislator who was also the biggest proponent of the policies of the Joel Giambra administration. These policies caused a bit of a crisis because Erie County, well, see, they ran out of money. He often quips that he "never voted for a tax increase,". The record shows this is true, however, he bullied those same policies through the Erie County Legislature that caused a fiscal collapse and constituted the need for massive tax increases. What Ranzenhofer is saying, in short, is this...."I caused the problem but I don't want a solution,". Nice, real nice.

On the other hand, in our Congressional race, we have Christopher J. Lee. A nice fellow and a businessman, it's true that his company does have some factories here in Western New York. Even so, his company did have manufacturing facilities in China, a fact that he tried to hide numerous times before being confronted on it during a debate, when finally being backed into a wall, Lee called it a "business policy" with something about assembling being done in China but not manufacturing. Disingenuous much? Politics of parsing on overdrive.

It finally seems that even in a deep red county like Genesee County, people are starting to pull the Democratic lever despite being traditionally Republican for years, that same opinionated attitude may very well be the downfall of a once very dominant rural Western New York Republican base.

Maybe its health care, maybe its education, maybe its the war in Iraq, maybe its the economy.

Or maybe, just maybe, the good and normally Republican voters in Genesee County have had it with the state of their party, because it's been "taken over by a bunch of kooks,"

Bea McManis
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Well said!
Howard B. Owens
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One thing I'm going to defend Chris Lee on is the China thing. I'm taking him at his word until somebody produces documentary proof that he's not telling the truth. (Pretty much, I believe in taking people at their word unless proven wrong ... it's a more civil way to live instead of always suspecting people of lying.) Chris Lee told me personally -- Parts are sent from WNY to China and products are manufactured in China to be (here's the key part) sold in China. These products are not re-exported to the US. China's a huge market with a lot of potential to compete against the US. If Lee's company can become a primary in-market producer of this product in China, it's a good sound business policy. It helps protect American jobs and allow an American company to corner a big market.
Howard B. Owens
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WGRZ fact checked the Lee and Kryzan ads. Read what they say about the DCCC ads.
C. M. Barons
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Both Republicans and Democrats take for granted their split of the electoral pie; they sit back on their haunches self-assured. Special interest groups feed both parties lots of money to discourage action. It's all about sucking in fat cat money and holding onto office. Beyond that- the special interests get exactly what they pay for- status quo. Irony... they all run on a platform of change, yet nothing changes- just rake in the money. We allow ourselves to be conned. America isn't supposed to be split between two parties (check the Constitution- no mention of parties anywhere). We are silent partners in the gridlock scheme. My advice: pull any lever other than the top two. Better yet- write in a name. With little imagination one can invent a candidate superior to the choices in the booth.
Howard B. Owens
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C.M. Good post and the points you make are one of the reasons my new favorite word is Plutocracy. And when I speak of the Plutocracy running this country, I include the media. It's time for people to have a voice again. You probably know George Washington's Farewell Address. Check again what he says about "factions." I think if the Framers were to see our country today, they would have paid closer attention to people like Luther Martin (I'm just finishing Bill Kauffman's book on him now -- great book).
Daniel Jones
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Hi Guys, sorry I missed this today... Here's the thing, a vast majority of the country identifies with either major political party. The reason is idelogy, people of particular ideologies prefer to be with others like them, so the Democratic and Republican parties are the centers for people with predominantly liberal or conservative ideologies. As for Chris Lee, he said so himself in a debate that his company has products assembled in China, whether you can split the term "assembling" from manufacturing or not, the bottom line is pretty simple....Chris Lee outsourced jobs that could have been done here in the United States. The reason why I wrote this blog is because of the momentum that Democratic candidates and the local Democratic party is gaining, every time I come into our office it's bustling with people who are (including Republicans) breaking down the door for Obama/Biden, Kryzan and Mesi signs. We can't keep up with the demand for signs.
Howard B. Owens
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So let's get this straight -- Chris Lee's company creates jobs in WNY by having parts made here for shipment to China where they can be more profitably assembled and sold in the Chinese market, and that's a bad thing? Also, as far as the parties go -- if they actually had different ideologies, then maybe there wouldn't be a Plutocracy. The fact of the matter is, neither party has any ideology except "look out for #1." The parties are soulless and could care less about you or me. They only care about maintaining majority so as to better enhance their power and committee assignments. The party structure isn't about providing a clear vision for the direction of the country. Whatever platitudes the parties serve up in that regard is just a smokescreen for the true reason political parties exist -- to serve the self interests of those in power. I'm not saying there aren't good people in both parties, but neither do I have rose colored blinders on about the true nature of the two-party system.
Daniel Jones
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If he wasn't running on a platform of 'creating jobs' then it all wouldn't be a problem, but since he's running on this record of being some benevolent local philanthropist-style businessman then he shouldn't have this problem. Why weren't the products assembled here in the US, was there any other reason than breaking a profit? Is he going to want to outsource government call centers? Most people have a generally liberal or conservative mindset, hence why both parties outgrow minor parties. I do believe that minor parties do a good job of representing sub-ideologies, such as the Conservative and Working Families parties.
Jerome Grasso
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Do not worry Dan, they are beating down our doors for signs as well! 200 McCain/Palin signs gone in an hour. The next 350 gone in a day. We have a huge waiting list. Still trying to get more. Lots of excitement here as well. It is good to see all kinds of people involved on both sides.
Daniel Jones
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As Dick Siebert and Dawn Cassidy pointed out in an earlier press conference Barack Obama and Sarah Palin are generating excitement across the board. It really is great to see this many signs going up on both sides of the aisle, a good year for democracy no matter what happens. I'm wondering though, if you would join me and condemning yard sign thefts, we've had reports of a few and I'm sure that you would agree that they need to end.
Robert Harding
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Jay Grasso says: "Do not worry Dan, they are beating down our doors for signs as well! 200 McCain/Palin signs gone in an hour. The next 350 gone in a day. We have a huge waiting list. Still trying to get more. Lots of excitement here as well. It is good to see all kinds of people involved on both sides." I would hope that, in a very Republican county, McCain/Palin signs are going. Orleans County has a similar situation. But there are plenty of Obama-Biden signs up. I just wish some of the signs that were put up would stay up. Some signs have been conveniently removed, which doesn't make me too happy. This is a democracy, isn't it?
C. M. Barons
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My McKinney/Clemente sign didn't last a day before someone mangled it. No one gave me my sign; I had to buy it. I must admit, though, if showing my support for a third party candidate generates that much ire (assuming it wasn't a 4 year old learning to ride a bicycle) maybe it was worth it.
Daniel Jones
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As Robert said, we have our signs up too, this year though it's on a bigger level than the the Democrats have had since 1992, even the Republican faithful are putting up our signs this year. Why can't anyone from the Republicans join in and condemn yard sign thefts, regardless of the party or candidate.
Jerome Grasso
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We lost 5 McCain/Palin signs in LeRoy/Stafford between Thursday night and Fri. morning. Replaced one on Saturday and checked it on Sunday. It was gone and so was the Obama/Biden sign that was there on Saturday! Equal opportunity thiefs! Lee/Ranzenhofer signs always disappear in Batavia. We all lose signs. It is a shame, but it happens. You just go back out and put 'em back in. Signs are helpful, but they do not win elections.
Daniel Jones
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Jay, they do get lost....but will you condemn the thefts and agree that anyone that steals them should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law? Your right, they don't win elections, making phone calls and (to a greater extent) going door to door does. However, to the people who have put a sign in their lawns it's a symbol of free speech and a proud display of support.
DOUGLAS MCCLURG
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HELLO AND GOOD DAY- looks like a close presidential race this year.Heres what I would like to see after the election.ALL them signs removed,packed up and put away.hope there gone by the following friday. Anyone talking about election fraud yet,absentees ballots,stuffed boxes,fixed polls.I'm just predicting a BIG mess this year. And thats my 2 cents for the weekend thank you
John Roach
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Dan, The stealing, and many times that is what it is, is a problem. In the last two City elections, the Dems. had signs stolen. A few phone calls to party leaders and that stopped, remember?

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