By Mark David Blum, Esq.
Dan Maffei, the Democratic nominee for New York’s 25th Congressional seat does not deserve your vote. It would be a shame to see his campaign succeed and I worry for our national health if Maffei wins the election.
Yesterday, Mr. Maffei came to Fayetteville Manlius High School to speak. Students were given extra credit on tests and grades if they showed up to hear Maffei speak. My brat was there and I am sure the house was packed. Free grades are free grades. You do not have to be Jewish to appreciate the value of a freebie.
When I asked my daughter what she thought of Maffei, she said he was “ok”. Trying to get an explanation and opinion from her was nearly impossible. When asked if she would vote for him, she said she would. I disagreed but she refused to debate. Perhaps she will read this and see my ten reasons why I am not voting for Dan Maffei:
1. Dan Maffei is not a local product. His career and adult life were spent in Washington and elsewhere working the world of politics. He is a well trained political operative who, along with his carpet bag, came to Syracuse a couple of years ago to run against a wildly unpopular Republican incumbent. So much Democratic Party machine money poured into the campaign that Maffei managed to eek out a second place finish in a two horse race. This time, the incumbent is retiring and Maffei seems convinced that the strong anti-incumbent support he experienced in the last election cycle will reappear.
2. Dan Maffei is not one of us. He did not make his home here or raise a family on Upstate water, schools, infrastructure, or culture. Maffei’s world is that of Washington D.C. and the fast life of big league politics. When looking at Maffei in comparison to Dale Sweetland, the Republican nominee or Howie Hawkins, of the Greens, I see Maffei as being the last in line of potential candidates who has real first hand experience of what living life is like here in Upstate New York. Respectfully, Maffei is a machine politician with no independent platform and certainly no real connection to the People, problems, and lifestyle of Upstate New York.
3. Dan Maffei is not equal to the sum of his parts. Again as a machine politician, Maffei is nothing more than a placeholder. He was selected by Washington power brokers and has but a single goal: enlarging the Democratic control of the House of Representatives. Nobody can doubt that Mr. Maffei has no real true interest in the residents of the district. I see no vision for local representation. I am not impressed with promises of pork. I do not want a faceless nameless person who just because he wears the badge of a democrat, is not himself autocrat or a willing participant in the Kleptocracy that has taken the place of our Democratic republic.
4. Dan Maffei talks to children but ignores the voting adult. He knows that the Party is spending millions of dollars to advance the Maffei candidacy. All Mr. Maffei has to do is not screw up and tow the party line. For this reason, he gives speeches to high school students (not a bad thing) but ignores the actual electorate. In 2004, I broke a lifelong standing as a non affiliated voter and registered as a Democrat because I wanted to vote in the Democrat primaries. That registration has not changed yet all I have heard from Mr. Maffei comes in the form of the occasional spam email from a neaby Move-On member. Not once has Mr. Maffei reached out to me or anybody I know in an effort to get us to support him. He needs to learn that country comes before party and my vote follows that pathway. So far, Mr. Maffei has failed to show himself.
5. Dan Maffei seems to avoid any approach of the difficult issues. Not a word has been said by the candidate on ending the war in Iraq, refusing to fund the war, refusing to take or engage in earmarks, and salvaging what is left of the economy. Sure, Maffei hits all the buzz words – abortion, welfare, medical, and the rest of the left social agenda. The real meat and potatoes issues never get discussed. This candidate has shown little interest in the bigger question and thus does not represent my interests in the federal government. Wolves do indeed come in the night. Sometimes they wear the silk suits of elected representatives. The 25th does not need a mindless bureaucrat who marches solely to the beat of the party drum and spends his days nose deep in the taxpayer trough.
6. Dale Sweetland is the better candidate because Sweetland has a lengthy work history in the legislative setting, is home grown and raised, and has dedicated his life’s work thus far in serving his local constituency. Dan Maffei can make no such claim. In fact, Maffei has never cast a vote, negotiated a deal on the floor, or had to face voters when he made an unpopular decision. We elect our representatives not because they will do what we ask as it is not possible; but rather, we elect them because we trust their judgment and character that the decisions made will be made in the best interests of the nation. We may not agree, but I would rather the vote be honest and not just sidling up the party leadership. Haven’t we had too many years already of “my party, right or wrong”. Dale is the kind of man who at least can hit the ground running. Dan has to learn the game of legislative debate before he can even enter the arena.
7. Howie Hawkins too is a better candidate than Dan Maffei and for all the same reasons as Mr. Sweetland. Though they have different agendas and run under different flags, I verily believe both men have their community’s best interests at heart. Unlike Dan Maffei who has never worked locally or spent a moment actually dealing with real social and political issues, Hawkins works day in and day out in the trenches. Sweetland has the real work experience. Maffei has little more than the deep pockets of the Democratic party machine.
8. The Democratic party seems poised right now to take a major landslide victory all across the board in the upcoming 2008 election. Call it coat tails or call it “no more of 8 more”, Americans seem hell bent on delivering the nation from the horrors of Republican domination. Pundits and soothsayers allege there will be a veto-proof majority in both houses. Personally, I see few things more dangerous to our nation than to have a single party dominating all 3 branches of government. A veto proof majority of the same party as the President is just the flip side of the same slug with which we dealt for so long. Republicans controlled both Houses from 1994 to 2006. Ten plus trillion dollars in debt is what we have to thank for that. If predictions are true, then at least we here in Upstate can be part of the lone voice in the wilderness and keep Congress honest. Not voting for a Democrat will reflect the actual population base and will minimize by one the goal of a veto proof majority.
9. Dan Maffei and the Onondaga County election machine sought to deprive voters from having a choice of candidates in the election. It was a democratic operative who objected to the nominating petitions of Howie Hawkins. The objections were filled with lies and speculation and seemed to be tinged with racism. By large numbers, folks whose signatures were objected to tended to have ethnic surnames. It is the ultimate in arrogance to believe your cause so righteous that you have shut down and quash the voices of opposition. If Mr. Maffei’s message is so strong, then why does he fear other candidates? Does Maffei really assume that Hawkins’ voters would otherwise vote for Maffei when Maffei attempted to shut down Hawkins’ candidacy in the first place? It is a dirty little game to deny the voters choices at election time. It is an unforgivable sin to do so based on lies and out right racism.
10. Dan Maffei comes on bended knee and has failed to take a stand on a single issue. Two years ago when he lost to the incumbent, Maffei did not go away. Instead, Maffei kept right on campaigning in anticipation of this election. Respectfully, he had two years to open his mouth, stand up, and be heard on any number of local or national issues. He did not. For two years, other than solicit money and send out junk emails, Mr. Maffei was nowhere to be heard. It is true we do not elect leaders, we elect representatives. But I expect my representative to have leadership skills within the body politic. There have been so many local and national issues about which Mr. Maffei could easily have voiced his opinion and rallied the populace. Yet, he remaining mum and cuddled his cash. I fear he will bring that attitude with him to Washington, if elected. It is not hard to imagine him doing the absolute minimum to get the maximum pay, and when folks at home grumble, Maffei will bundle up a pile of pork to grease the palms of the naysayers. Haven’t we had enough of that?
I could not express all my frustration with the Maffei candidacy because my charming little one had no interest in discussing the matter. Try though I might, boys are more important than current events. Hopefully, the extra credit points will help her find her way into a college history class. I see it as my own failing as a parent for not completely teaching my bratlet the concept of ‘critical thinking’.
Any person capable of a rational thought should see right through the Maffei candidacy. I had always hoped for more of a selection. But of the three on the ballot, Maffei is the one for whom I will not cast my vote. There are just too many big issues that require minds that thinker larger than Dan Maffei.