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Chris Lee

February 25, 2011 - 7:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Lee, NY-26.

"New to area. Very fit classy, successful guy. 39, 6ft 190lbs, blond/blue. Smooth hard body. Looking for a sexy ts/cd that i can spoil. I promise not to disappoint."

In a shocking new post, this is the ad Gawker.com suggests  ex-Congressman Chris Lee posted on Craigslist in January.

However, almost by writer Remy Stern's own admission, holes could be poked into the "evidence" that Lee was seeking transgender and transvestite hook-ups through the free classified site. Yet, there's enough to the story that makes it hard to ignore.

Hardest to disregard is the new photo published by Gawker that seems to show a shirtless Lee posing in front of a mirror. It's very similar to an image Gawker published with the initial story about the married Lee allegedly trolling Craigslist for dates. Still, it's different enough in key ways, making makes it hard to believe it's a PhotoShop counterfeit.

Stern reports that the photo was submitted by a transvestite prostitute, whom Gawker calls "Holly."

"The first thing Holly sent us was a never-before-seen picture of Chris Lee's now-familiar torso and red Blackberry. She edited the picture to obscure the Congressman's face, however, and printed her e-mail address over his chest. (We have covered up the address in the photo above.)" If we wanted to publish the unedited image, Holly explained, we'd have to pay her for it."

As for the ad above, Stern claims that it came from a transgender woman who said she found the ad posted on Craigslist and later figured out that the person who posted it was allegedly Lee.

Read the whole thing and see what you think about the claims.

February 11, 2011 - 12:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Lee, NY-26.

Rumors of Chris Lee flirting with women, and possibly more, have swirled around him since his 2008 campaign for Congress, the Buffalo News reports today.

Several people contacted the campaign of Lee's Democratic opponent in 2008, Alice J. Kryzan, to say they had firsthand knowledge of Lee cheating on, or attempting to cheat on, his wife, two sources with knowledge of the campaign said.

Kryzan decided against pursuing the accusations because she didn't want to run a dirty campaign, the sources said.

Lee's alleged behavior reportedly drew the attention of House Majority Leader John Boehner. According to various reports, including the Buffalo News, Lee was allegedly behaving inappropriately toward female lobbyists. Boehner reportedly told Lee, "knock it off."

Boehner has told reporters that Lee resigned on his own with no pressure from leadership.

Politico reports that Lee's sudden departure caught the GOP by surprise.

House Speaker John Boehner and other top Republicans were unaware of the brewing scandal before Gawker posted the story early Wednesday afternoon, meaning party leaders were caught flat-footed when the controversy broke.

“Lee’s people tried to handle it internally,” a senior Republican aide said of Lee and his staff, adding that such a move was “a big mistake.”

Meanwhile, Lee's former staff is now under the supervision of Clerk of the House of Representatives. All of Lee's offices are remaining open to handle constituent matters.

Reaction in Genesee County to Lee's resignation and allegations from the Internet news site Gawker.com -- that Lee sent a shirtless picture of himself to a woman he met through Craigslist -- has been one of shock and disbelief.

County Legislator Ray Cianfrini said Lee was a guy he had high hopes for.

"From everything I could gather he was a rising star," Cianfrini said.

"He was appointed to Ways and Means in his second term, so obviously, he had some respect (in Washington), so for him to self-destruct like this is a real disappointment."

Legislator Jay Grasso said, "We all worked really hard for him, so I'm disappointed."

Dean Norton, president of the Farm Bureau, said Lee's departure from the House is a potential set back for the agriculture interests in New York, both because of Lee's quick rise in power and his expressed interest in the ag business.

"We were looking forward to to having an ally on the Ways and Means Committee who would bring ag funding issues to the forefront," Norton said.

Batavia's Town Supervisor Greg Post had a little bit different take.

Post heard a talk-show host complaining about the fall of another leader and Post said, "He's not my leader. He's my representative."

"My comment would be that I'm not surprised by the higher percentage of failures in elected positions," Post said. "It's an accurate representation of what our nation has evolved to over the past 50 years. This isn't the same country I grew up in."

We also asked for a comment from Elba's Bill Kauffman, writer and iconoclastic historian, author of nine books, including "Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette," and  a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal. Here's Kauffman's response:

"For 20 years, Genesee County was represented in Congress by Barber B. Conable, a thoughtful, rooted, humane man who was exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind. The series of Erie County hacks who have succeeded him -- Bill Paxon, Tom Reynolds, and now the Shirtless Wonder -- have been disgraces.

"I'd love to see a decent, honorable insurgent Republican from one of the rural counties take on whichever humdrum timeserver the GOP bosses choose. And I hope the Democrats run a vigorous populist instead of a suburban liberal who gets the shakes when he/she crosses the Pembroke town line."

February 9, 2011 - 6:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, Chris Lee.

 U.S. Rep. Chris Lee, representing New York's 26th District, including Genesee County, has reportedly resigned his congressional seat following a report by Gawker.com that he was trolling Craigslist for women.

UPDATE: Chris Lee released this statement:

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York. I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents. I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.

“The challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately.”

Lee became caught up in a sex scandal today when New York City-based Gawker reported the the second-term congressman was apparently trolling Craigslist for women.

According to reporter Maureen O'Connor, Lee exchanged e-mails with a woman who placed a personal ad on Craigslist in the women-seeking-men category. Lee had told her he was divorced and a lobbyist, according to the report, and in the course of the e-mail exchange he sent along a shirtless picture himself.

The woman, according to Gawker, cut off correspondance with him after doing a little Google research and finding out who he really was. She then contacted Gawker thinking it was a 'humorous story."

There's no allegation in the story that Lee actually "hooked up" with that woman or any other woman through Craigslist.

UPDATE: Here's how the Washington Post reported it:

Lee experienced his fall from grace in a single afternoon, undone at the speed of the digital age. At lunchtime Wednesday, he was an obscure but promising second-term congressman. Then, at 2:33 p.m., the Web site Gawker.com posted an alleged e-mail exchange between a man who used Lee's name -- but identified himself as a divorced lobbyist -- and an unidentified woman. Gawker reported that the two had met through the personals section of Craigslist.

After that, the familiar cycles of a Washington sex scandal were compressed into a blur of tweets and news alerts. There was confusion, a hint of denial, then a pledge from Lee to "work it out" with his wife.

By 6 p.m., a clerk was announcing Lee's resignation in the House chamber.

January 25, 2011 - 4:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, Chris Lee, federal budget.

Here's a news release from Congressman Chris Lee's office:

Congressman Chris Lee voted today to cut federal spending back to at least 2008 budget levels to help return fiscal responsibility to Washington.

Lee voted for H. Res. 38, which instructs the House Budget Committee to implement spending levels set for 2008 for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year.

“The majority of the Western New Yorkers I’ve spoken with want Washington to get its fiscal house in order, and I’ve heard their calls loud and clear,” Lee said. “Today’s vote sends a message that the House will not continue the incredible spending binge that we’ve seen over the last few years.

"Every second that passes, Congress adds thousands of dollars onto an already record-high $14 trillion debt, and that needs to change.”

Non-defense discretionary spending – including the failed $787 billion “stimulus” bill – has increased 84 percent from 2008 through last year, while the national debt has soared from nearly $11 trillion in 2008 to more than $14 trillion today.

“Washington needs to get serious about cutting spending so future generations are not buried under a mountain of debt,” Lee said. “Cutting overall spending to 2008 levels is an important start to getting Washington to live within its means, just as Western New York families have always done.”

January 17, 2011 - 1:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, Business, Chris Lee, dairy farmers.

Here's a news release from Congressman Chris Lee's office.

Congressman Chris Lee was chosen to serve as a co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus for the 112th Congress

Lee served as vice-chair during the 111th Congress until its adjournment last year. He will lead the caucus with fellow co-chairs Reps. Joe Courtney (D-CT), Peter Welch (D-VT), Timothy Walz (D-MN), Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Thomas Petri (R-WI).

The bipartisan caucus works to aid dairy farmers across the United States, and last Congress worked closely with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on important issues affecting Western New York’s dairy farmers.

“Western New York has some of the finest family farms in the country, and since coming to Congress in 2009 I’ve been focused on ensuring our region’s agricultural producers have the resources they need to survive,” Lee said.

“Dairy farmers in particular have been hard-hit during the tough economic times, but they are a resilient group of families closely tied to the land they farm and the industry they love. I look forward to working with the other co-chairs and members of the Caucus who share my commitment to strengthening family farms for this and future generations.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Lee’s congressional district is the 22nd highest dairy producing district in the nation, with a market value nearing $500 million.

New York State as a whole produces about 12.5 billion pounds of milk each year. For more information on Congressman Lee’s commitment to Western New York’s dairy farmers, visit www.chrislee.house.gov/familyfarms <http://www.chrislee.house.gov/familyfarms>.

December 14, 2010 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, Business, agriculture, Chris Lee.


Congressman Chris Lee with New York Farm Bureau President and Genesee County resident Dean Norton, right, accepting an award from the American Farm Bureau for being a "Friend of the Farm Bureau." Lee announced the award this evening on Twitter.

December 14, 2010 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Lee.

If you have a question for Congressman Chris Lee, he will be available online to answer it for you at noon today, but to ask it, you'll need to have an account on the popular social networking service Twitter.

Lee announced that he is holding a "Twitter Town Hall" today, and through his Twitter account @chrislee_ny26 he has said questions have already started flowing in.

Lee has 2,086 followers on Twitter.

People with or without Twitter accounts can follow the conversation through the hash tag #askchris.

People who ask questions of Lee should direct them to @chrislee_ny26 and tag them with #askchris.

Twitter has gained wide popularity around the world for its ability to allow friends and associates to quickly share information even though messages are limited to 140 characters.

In a press release, Lee's staff says the congressman has held some 30 town hall meetings during his first term either in person or by telephone. This is his first Twitter Town Hall meeting.

Lee's office also maintains accounts on YouTube, Facebook and Picasa.

December 9, 2010 - 9:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Lee.

Genesee County's congressional representative Chris Lee (R-26) has been appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee, perhaps the most significant committee in Congress.

Ways and Means is the chief committee for any revenue-related issues and reviews a broad range of legislation. It is among the most sought-after committee appointments in the house.

Members of Ways and Means are prohibited from serving on other congressional committees.

Lee is beginning his second term representing New York's 26th Congressional District.

Full press release after the jump:

July 27, 2010 - 2:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in Chris Lee, lockerbie.

Here's a press release we received from Congressman Chris Lee's office:

Representing the families and friends of victims in the attack on Pan Am Flight 103, Congressman Chris Lee and two other freshmen NY lawmakers are demanding an investigation into new allegations surrounding the release of the infamous Lockerbie bomber.

Lee and Reps. Michael E. McMahon (D-Staten Island/Brooklyn) and Daniel B. Maffei (D-Syracuse) circulated a bipartisan "Dear Colleague" letter urging fellow members to sign onto their demand that the British Government immediately investigate the circumstances surrounding the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi.

June 16, 2010 - 1:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Lee.

The fundraising practices of Congressman Chris Lee, are being examined by the House Ethics Committee.

From the Buffalo News:

The Office of Congressional Ethics this month sent letters to banking lobbyists, seeking information about their fundraising contacts with Lee and the other lawmakers, a mix of Democrats and Republicans who serve on the House Financial Services or Ways and Means committees.

The letter to lobbyists, which was first reported Monday afternoon by a Capitol Hill newspaper called The Hill, did not name any specific charges against the lawmakers and identified the probe as a “preliminary review.”

Lee, a first-term Republican, told the News that he has "nothing to hide," adding, “The more accountable and transparent we can be, the better off things will be in the long term.”

He said he's cooperated fully with the investigation.

Since the beginning of 2009, the committee has started 48 ethics probes and 22 of those were dropped in their preliminary stages.

Six other lawmakers are also being investigated.

June 15, 2010 - 12:21pm
posted by bud prevost in taxes, Chris Lee, Blogs.

So, I took the time one fine afternoon to visit a staffer from Rep. Chris Lee's office at the Leroy village hall. I expressed to him my desire to have any mailings from Rep. Lee stopped, and I further requested he explain the need for 3 fully staffed offices. This nice young man went on to speak politically, and bash the current administration, all the while extolling the virtues of his boss. He never really did give me a straight answer. That tells me one day he'll make a fine politician himself.

In any case, after the personal appeal, and a mailed request to stop this waste of tax dollars, I received another self-serving, egotistical "pamphlet" in the mail, in which Rep. Lee pats himself on the back for asking Congress to pass a bill extending tax credits to people getting a US passport. I normally would just toss such "junk-mail", but I took a closer look this time. In small print in the corner, it explained this mailing was produced, and delivered to all for less than the price of a stamp. Really? That seems remarkable given the quality and size of the mailing. So why if this can be done, why is everything else in government so expensive? We're all familiar with the $800 hammers, and the $3000 toilets, and the $300,000 FEMA trailers. What is different? I hope to find out someday.

Republicans and Democrats are equally culpable for the insane waste in Washington, and We the People need to speak up loud and clear! Stop expanding government, and stop burying the citizens with taxes that just get mismanaged anyway.

May 14, 2010 - 5:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, Chris Lee.
Event Date and Time: 
May 19, 2010 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

From noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19, a member of Congressman Chris Lee’s staff will be available for one-on-one meetings with Oakfield residents at Oakfield Town Hall.

“These office hours provide Genesee County residents with a unique opportunity to meet with a member of my staff one-on-one, whether it be to troubleshoot interactions with federal agencies or discuss the issues of the day,” Congressman Lee said.

The town hall is located at 3219 Drake St.

April 9, 2010 - 11:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Chris Lee.


BATAVIA, NY -- Congress is behind the times, according to Rep. Chris Lee (NY-26). While society is moving to an increasingly paperless existence, the congressional printing office still delivers five printed copies of every bill to the staff of each bill's co-sponsors.

Those can be pretty hefty tomes -- hundreds of pages long -- to dozens of congressional offices.

And they are bills that usually just get tossed in the garbage or recycling bin, because most legislators and their staff members read and track bills on computers.

At the Genesee ARC recycling center today, Lee announced legislation he hopes will pass to end the practice of printing these copies of bills. He called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has talked before about the "greening of DC" to support the bill, which already has nine Democratic co-sponsors.

"We don't practice what we preach," Lee said.

If passed, Lee said he estimates that the bill would save taxpayers $2.5 million per year.

"This is a win-win," Lee said. "It takes care of our environment and it shows that we’re looking after every penny that comes into our treasury."

As an example, Lee held up all five copies of a recent bill that was 153 pages long and was delivered to the offices of 80 co-sponsors. 

The freshman congressman is concerned that the bill won't be taken seriously in the House, because in an environment were most legislation is dealing with billions or trillions of dollars, $2.5 million is practically "spare change."

"To me, $2.5 million is a lot of money," Lee said. "Unfortunately, there’s this premise that unless it has a “B” or a “T” after it, in Washington, most of the people don’t care."

January 27, 2010 - 7:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in taxes, Chris Lee.

Congressman Chris Lee attended an auction yesterday.

He wasn't there to buy an old Queen Anne sideboard. He wanted to get a firsthand look at the nation's debt getting sold to overseas concerns.

The auction was held at the Bureau of Public Debt, and it featured $10 billion of our national debt being auctioned off as four-week treasury bills.

“As our national debt has risen to a record high, I wanted to get a firsthand look at the process by which our debt is auctioned off to China and other foreign countries,” said Congressman Lee. “We need to get serious about reining in government spending and decreasing our debt. We cannot afford to be beholden these foreign counties any longer.”

Lee then met with Commissioner of the Public Debt Van Zeck.

I wonder if he asked how much it costs to administer a Bureau of Public Debt?

Full press release after the jump:

November 4, 2009 - 12:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, Chris Lee.

Congressman Chris Lee has returned from a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan. WBTA interviewed him this morning and Dan Fischer has posted an extended audio file on WBTA1490.com (mp3).

Tune into WBTA's Main and Center tomorrow to hear Lee talk about the health care being considered in the House of  Representatives.

September 27, 2009 - 2:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Lee.

Press release:

WASHINGTON – Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26) issued the following statement today after signing a discharge petition to amend the House rules to require that legislation be posted on the Internet for at least 72 hours before a vote on the House floor. More than 170 Members of Congress have signed on to this petition, which are used to force a vote on legislation that has been blocked by the majority leadership. Lee said:

“Western New York taxpayers deserve the ability to weigh in on these important and complicated pieces of legislation which are being rushed through Congress.

“As we saw with the ‘cap and trade’ national energy tax legislation and the enormous ‘stimulus’ spending bill, leaders in Congress have denied the American public the right to full transparency in the legislative process.

“This bill will allow Members of Congress, the American public and the press 72 hours to actually read the huge bills that are often introduced in the dead of night. This common-sense reform is long past due."

September 15, 2009 - 12:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Lee.

Who are the richest legislators in Washington?  Roll Call has a list.

Our own Chris Lee makes the list at No. 33.

Lee's net worth is $7.4 million, according to Roll Call, which includes a trust fund and $1 million in a personal account.

(via GLOW Democrats blog)

August 2, 2009 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, Chris Lee, Kirsten Gillibrand, Dairy Farms.

With dairy prices at a 30-year low, Genesee County dairy farmers may find some relief in new USDA price supports.

The government is essentially agreeing to pay above-market prices for some dairy products as part of the Dairy Product Price Support Program. In this 60-year-old program, the government buys dry milk, butter, and cheese and stores these products until they can be sold on the open market or donated to domestic or international charitable programs.

From a Rep. Chris Lee press release:

The increase, announced this morning by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, will raise the price paid for nonfat dry milk from $0.80 per pound to $0.92 per pound, the price paid for cheddar blocks from $1.13 per pound to $1.31 per pound, and the price of cheddar barrels from $1.10 per pound to $1.28 per pound. Temporarily raising the price of these dairy products increases the price that dairy farmers receive for their milk.

The price increase will be in effect for three months. It is expected to boost dairy revenue by $243 million.

July 29, 2009 - 8:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, Chris Lee, Dairy Farms.

Congressional members with a shared interest in the fate of dairy farmers have revived a caucus to work together on those concerns, and Rep. Chris Lee has been selected as a co-chair of the committee.

Other representatives from New York are Democrats Paul Tonko and Louise Slaughter.

Caucuses are officially sanctioned groups of lawmakers who join together to promote a common cause. Here's a complete list of such groups.

With dairy prices at historical lows, and production costs remaining high, dairy farmers have been looking to Washington for assistance and support.

The new caucus gives congressional members with a shared interest in dairy farming a means to study dairy farming issues and come up with recommendations that could conceivably lead to legislation or other assistance.

July 13, 2009 - 2:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, veterans, Steve Hawley, Chris Lee.


Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C, I – Batavia) announced his second annual Patriot Trip for veterans to tour Washington, D.C.  This special trip is scheduled for Sept. 24-27 and is being jointly hosted by Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26).

“Last year’s trip was a very special and memorable trip for me on many levels: as a representative, as a veteran and as the son of a veteran," Hawley said. "I was thrilled to be able to share the experience with so many veterans from our region and am even more excited for this year’s expanded trip. I would like to thank Congressman Lee for his support and assistance in the planning of this trip."

The trip, dubbed Patriot Trip II, will include round-trip private-coach transportation from Western New York to Washington, D.C. and accommodations at the Crossroads Hotel on Quantico Marine Base.

It also includes tours of the nation’s Capitol and Arlington Cemetery, as well as visits to a number of monuments and memorials, including World War II, Korean, Vietnam, FDR, Jefferson and Iwo Jima, among other tours and visits. Additionally, the trip includes admission to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the Smithsonian Museum and Quantico Marine Military Museum.

“Any time our veterans take the opportunity to visit our nation’s capital, it’s an important event,” said Congressman Lee. “It’s not uncommon to see vets at our war memorials surrounded by grateful tourists and fellow citizens. I hope all local veterans will seek to take advantage of this unique opportunity. Assemblyman Hawley continues to do great work on behalf of our local veterans, and I look forward to working with him to ensure this trip is a success.”

While many veterans were sent a mailer with the trip’s original dates, due to military personnel commitments at the hotel, the trip’s dates have been changed to Sept. 24-27.  Assemblyman Hawley, who's also Ranking Member of the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee, would like to encourage all veterans within the 139th Assembly District who did not receive the mailing, to call his office and ask to be put on the mailing list.

For more information about the trip and its details, pricing, or to sign-up for the trip or mailing list, please call Assemblyman Hawley’s District Office at (585) 589-5780.

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