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Taking 19 Away from Sue Kelly

March 30, 2006

As Crotonblog is always VERY happy to help fellow bloggers promote their efforts, today, we tip our hat to Michael Morey of take19 (take19.blogspot.com), who helps lead a group of political activists and community leaders from a five county region who formed a group and launched a blog in attempt to defeat Congresswoman Sue Kelly (R) the upcoming Congressional election set for November.

The bloggers use their forum to educate the public about Rep. Sue Kelly’s right-wing Congressional voting record. Though the group is not affiliated with any of the five candidates vying for Kelly’s seat, Take19 is comprised of volunteers from across the 19th district with extensive experience in local politics, public interest issues and the media. In a recent press release, Michael Morey noted “This is the first time that an independent group has formed in the district with the express purpose of defeating Sue Kelly.”

According another of the group’s founders, Margaret Yonco-Haines of Garrison, “Take19 was created to help voters get to know the real Sue Kelly,” adding that “Many of her votes—on issues such as cutting federal student loans, Medicare and home heating assistance—are simply out of touch with the people who live in New York’s 19th Congressional District.”

The group has also written extensively about Congresswoman Sue Kelly’s political ascension starting when she was elected to the House of Representatives during Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America in 1994. Take19 bloggers say that Sue Kelly likes to describe herself as a moderate Republican, but indicate the contrary. A detailed examination of her voting record shows that Kelly repeatedly votes with the most radical wing of the Republican Party.

Further, Take19 found that when it came to the closest House votes in 2005—those that barely eked through despite a solid Republican majority—Kelly repeatedly sided with the far-right wing of her party, even when true moderate Republicans crossed party lines. The majority of these votes were to protect vital federal programs important to middle-class voters, including federal student aid, Medicare and home heating assistance.

“When she’s in the district, Sue Kelly works hard to portray herself as a moderate Republican. But once she gets to D.C. and out of sight, she often casts votes with the radical wing of her party,” said John Parker, chair of the Pound Ridge Democrats. During the 2004 elections, Kelly received over $12,000 from indicted former House leader Tom DeLay. “Perhaps that’s why she votes with DeLay almost all the time. The truth is, her record speaks for itself.”

Kelly’s Record

Two bills that Kelly voted for cut vital programs for residents of the Hudson Valley and passed by just two votes. These votes—and others—demonstrate just how out of touch Kelly is with her middle class constituents:

  • The Labor, Health, and Education Spending Bill (Dec. 14, 2005; passed 215-213) froze funding for home heating assistance, cut $437 million from critical services to unemployed and displaced workers and cut funding for Community Colleges in half.
  • The so-called Deficit Reduction Act (Nov 18, 2005; passed 217-215) cut $50 billion from federal student loan programs, Medicaid, food stamps, and Child Support enforcement.

“While middle-class residents in her district are paying higher prices at the pump and paying significantly more to heat their homes, Sue Kelly is shirking her responsibility to provide relief and protect her constituents,” says Manny Mangual, executive director of the Latino Democratic Committee of Orange County. “I’m excited that in 2006, we have an opportunity to replace Sue Kelly with someone who will represent the economic interests of the overwhelming majority of families of the Hudson Valley and not the interests of the Republican party’s radical right wing.”

Election trends and facts in the 19th CD

The 2006 midterm election is the first time in which the national Democratic Party and political pundits have placed a spotlight on this district. With increased Democratic enrollment and significant backlash against the increasingly right-wing Republican agenda, Representative Sue Kelly faces -for the first time in 10 years- a significant challenge to her incumbency.

The politics are changing in the19th Congressional District. Democrats swept all but one of the State Supreme Court seats in the 19th Congressional District in each of the last two elections and made impressive gains in both the Orange County and Dutchess County legislatures in 2005.

To schedule interviews with members of Take 19 in your community or for further information, contact Mike Morey at 914-382-1762 or by email at Take19@gmail.com. You can also visit the group online at take19.blogspot.com.

On March 30, 2006 7:26 PM, Michael Morey said:

Great post and Take19 appreciates the coverage. I want to note though, that Take19 was started long before I became involved with it, because a few concerned residents knew that something had to be done to correct the misinformation that Congresswoman Sue Kelly was putting forth. I simply offered my services to them after these good progressives decided to take action. The hat tip belongs to Take19’s bloggers, Margaaret Yonco-Haines, the organizer, and the 50+ volunteers who keep this thing running.

Together we can take back our country and we can elect a member to congress who looks out for the residents of this district and not a corrupt Washington political party.

On March 30, 2006 7:09 PM, KWilly said:

We need a congressmen/woman who stands up for our district. Croton-Harmon High School sends 92% of graduates to college and 75% of its graduates to 4-year college. If Sue Kelly would rather spend money on an unjust war in Iraq, then on the education of her district’s brightest students. If she voted againgst the The Labor, Health, and Education Spending Bill than it would only take one more vote to veto the bill. This among with many other reasons is why we need to vote Sue Kelly out and have a change of course domestically and internationally.

  • KWilly Davis



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