The first Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump debate was not nearly as interesting as many hoped for not justifying the ratings it likely garnered. A good portion of the was looking for a reality TV-esque event, but neither they nor the political junkies gained anything of susbstance or entertainment. The debate failed to move the dial substantially, though a minority of voters may pick a side. The outcome is less a definitive result and more a tweak to current polling.
Hillary Clinton recently asked ‘why am I not 50 points in front?’ The answer was clear in the debate. Hillary lied on several facts, deflected on issues she is weak on, and baited Donald Trump from the start. But the overall result cannot be denied. The debate was a display of a well practiced career politician who could handle damage control on the fly with a false smile and a counter-attack.
Far less deft was Donald Trump. It was clear he is not a practiced politician. It was clear that early on he took the bait from Clinton. Yet at the same time, he did recompose himself. He did land several critical political blows. But he also missed a couple of obvious opportunities to do even more damage.
Neither candidate was endearing to the public. Neither displayed an ability to bridge the widening partisan gap. Both made clear weaknesses on aspects of foreign policy, the economy, and their personal histories. It really was not a debate worthy of calling a winner for.
Throughout the debate, there were several live tweets by M V Consulting, Inc. president and 9 1/2 year political commentator Michael “Vass” Vasquez. We will post those tweets (as many appeared on Facebook as well). Several of the tweets will also link to proof.
Tweets at @MVConsult:
Moderator has lost control of this debate all ready. Trump is coming off too hard. Too many interruptions.
Look at Hillary’s face. Fake smile and now a half frown smirk. Trump got her for a moment.
Clinton picking up steam now Trump missed opportunity on emails and Clinton capitalizing.
Who is Clinton fooling. Black v Black crime is massive and being Black has become a commodity. Obama and Dems prospered on this.
9:53 Clinton is reading a script. On guns and control.
According to latest pre-lim NY GIVE report murder and violent crime up in 17 metro cities in NY and NYC **Proof – http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/crimnet/ojsa/greenbook.pdf
Notice everytime Trump nails Clinton on an issues she puts on fake smile. Trump hurt by Obama birthed – but was factually started by Clinton
Not hack into public systems but hack the deleted email of the Clinton server. Check the news at the time. Hillary is rewriting history
Proof – “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” the Republican nominee said at a news conference in Florida. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” – 7/27/16 – Donald Trump
Promise to contain ISIS is not new nor has it been effective
Hillary supported Iraq too. And vacuum in Iraq was cause of ISIS. Which Obama and Clinton were too busy retreating to notice
Clinton was also the architect of the Plan to give $150 billion to fund terrorism as per Secty Kerry. Clinton owns that too ** Proof – http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/21/politics/john-kerry-money-iran-sanctions-terrorism/
Words matter, as does paying $1.7 billion in ransom and $150 billion funding terrorism. Proof – http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-payment-of-1-7-billion-to-iran-raises-questions-of-ransom-1453421778
Wait, did she just reference the IRA peace talks that she wasn’t in the room for? That was a 2008 lie already disproven **Proof http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1581150/Nobel-winner-Hillary-Clintons-silly-Irish-peace-claims.html
Yes, sometime Clinton loses and makes a deal to get a political office, personal debt paid and engineered a primary that negated Dem voters
All said, Hillary did well but took many big hits. Trump didnt put the race away, hits he took were almost as bad. Predict race tightens
The major news media will claim a win for each candidate. In fact Tweets are already spreading to that effect, such as the comment by NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who said,
What a debate! Tonight @HillaryClinton truly showed why she is the best choice to be our next President! #HofDebate16.
Which earned the replay by Mr. Vasquez,
@SenGillibrand @HillaryClinton not exactly sure what debate you saw
While the news media has lots of fodder in this debate, the voter gained nothing. If anything, it is quite possible that the enthusiasm of many Republicans may be slightly dimmed and the hoped for rally by Democrats failed to catch fire. The next debate, in terms of moderation and questions asked and every facet of the candidates, will be very telling and may be the key in the race.
The question of ethics in politics is neither new nor resolved. This is true at the presidential level as well as in Federal and State elections. New York State is perhaps the most prominent of States that comes to mind in the modern era on this issue. Generally with good cause. But the question of if and when corruption and ethics violations can be fought should be asked. Especially in light of the upcoming 2016 elections.
Part of the reason for the focus on NY is that it is an apparent locus of the repeated scenario of an elected official gaining office; and often in relatively short order becoming the subject of a scandalous revelation of ethics violations. Since 2007, Governors of NY have been embroiled by allegations and violations of ethics and law. It has caused 2 of the most recent 3 Governors to lose their positions.
Elliot Spitzer was ousted due to ‘Troopergate’ and the Emperor’s Club prostitution scandal in just a year of his tenure. David Patterson, who replaced Spitzer, had his own Public Integrity scandal as well as disclosing just a day after being sworn in as Governor that he was an adulterer. He too would lose the Governorship, this time due to being forced out of the race by political pressure from President Obama and allegation of witness tampering and abusive use of State Police.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is special though. Under his on-going tenure a slew of current and prior elected officials, politicos, and even private sector leaders have been arrested and convicted. Notable individuals directly linked to Gov. Cuomo include Sheldon Silver, Dean Skelos, Joseph Percoco, and Alain Kaloyeros just to highlight a small fraction of the individuals involved.
Gov. Cuomo himself has been under investigation for ethics and criminal violations twice, with a third investigation continuing. Considering the number of people surrounding and connected to Gov. Cuomo, smart oddsmakers will not take bets on if Cuomo is ultimately charged with corruption – instead taking bets on when if public opinion is a factor.
But the record of corruption and ethics violations in New York are not limited to just the Governorship. Nor is it a matter solely affecting elected officials. At the Federal level and further down-ballot, the question of ethics violations continues to plague the State as if Tammany Hall had never ceased but merely changed its name.
Ethics violations of Rep. Charles Rangel, earning a censure from Congress, Assemblywoman Angela Wozniak being sanctioned due to sexual harrassment, and the scandals of disgraced former-Rep. Anthony Weiner come to mind but are not alone.
The DNC leaked letters. The tweet of NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio to Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sponsorship of GOP events by Dutchess County Court Judge candidate Edward McLoughlin. All examples of the many levels corruption and violations have eked into the election process.
Given this backdrop, the New York 22nd Congressional race – considered one of the most contentious races in the nation – is all the more of interest, in the State and nation. It is an example of the battle occurring on large and small stages. Not a battle of Parties, but of promises to fight corruption (made by all candidates of all Parties) and the potential capability to do so.
One the candidates in the race is businessman Martin Babinec (no Party affiliation). The founder of TriNet Group, Mr. Babinec has made several claims in political ads that he will fight corruption in NYS and Congress. Mr. Babinec has never held a political position, which can be said to limit the ability to fight corruption and violations in the past, while enabling the potential to do so in the future.
But a quick review on Google search reveals that Mr. Babinec is currently involved in a court case alleging violations of SEC regulations thus defrauding investors. This has not been addressed by Mr. Babinec in his public statements on various media outlets since March 2016 when he tried and failed to gain entry on the November ballot on the Independence Party line (Mr. Babinec has since gained entry via the Reform Party that represents 0.002% of voters in the 8 counties comprising the NY-22). Whether this is a factor in the potential battle of corruption and ethics violations is unknown.
Another opponent in the highly contested race is Legislator Kim Myers (Democrat). Legislator Myers is also no stranger to complaints of ethics violations. In July 2016, the Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust (FACTDC), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas, filed a complaint with the Broome County Board of Ethics. [Note: FACTDC was asked for comment on the complaint and did not respond to our request as of the publishing of this article.] That complaint alleged, in part, that violation of Broome County Code 74-2 (b) occurred from March 3, 2016 up to and/or beyond July 11, 2016, by Kim Myers
” Charter and Code of the County of Broome – 74-2
The following activities are prohibited:
1) Activities unrelated to the County’s mission
8) Solicitation for religious and political causes
11) Any activity meant to foster personal gain”
According to the Carol Hall of the Broome County Legislature, on behalf of Michael Marinaccio the Board of Ethics Chairman, whom we contacted on September 22-23, 2016, the complaint has been closed and no other information can be provided as per Broome County Code 53-19. It is unclear why the complaint was closed, though it may be due to a change in resources for the Myers campaign.
But there is more. We have possession of documentation identifying another complaint, by a private citizen, against Kim Myers filed on September 20, 2016. That complaint, filed with the
Authorities Budget Office (ABO), alleges that the Broome County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), along with the Kim Myers campaign and Dick’s Sporting Goods, acted inappropriately and without good faith to the public.
This complaint stems from the secret “Project Mario” deal that was announced only after Legislator Kim Myers had secured the Democrat seat in the NY-22 race. At issue is the fact that several members of the Broome IDA – IDA Chairman Terrance Kane , Executive Director Kevin McClaughlin, Steven Feehan, and at least Lamont Pinker in addition – are political donors to the Myers campaign. This at least “created a perception of conflict,” if not direct violations.
While this complaint is being reviewed currently by the ABO, no official comment can be made. Request for comment for this article from the Kim Myers campaign have not resulted in any response at the time of this article or the 24 hours prior to it.
Thus in review, The NY-22 election is a microcosm of New York State and to an extent national politics. There are individual politicians and law enforcement authorities, like Preet Bharara, who are actively seeking to remove the corruption that the public (in NY and 81% of the nation) are all too aware of. There are candidates and politicians that have made claims to follow the lead of Mr. Bharara, and may or may not be capable to follow through. But at the same time there are many elected politicians and candidates that are apparently seeking to maintain, or are highly questionable about their ability and intent to eradicate this blight of governance.
The fact that the Democrat candidate for the presidency (who was also a former Senator for New York) was only just cleared of criminal prosecution under debatable circumstances, seems to indicate that the potential for greater corruption in Government is likely. New York State seems poised to capitalize on this, as one of the last strongholds of historic corruption that even Chicago may envy. Making the question facing voters not only if there is a need for fighting corruption in politics, but who is actually strong enough to do so in this political environment?
During the morning of September 21, 2016, on the talk news program Binghamton Now on WNBF 1290AM, host Bob Joseph had the Democrat candidate for the New York 22nd congressional race Kim Myers on live. Candidate Myers spoke about the race to-date and the program took calls from listeners to ask questions of the candidate. One of those calls was from political commentator Michael Vasquez – who has the leading coverage of this election race starting in November 2015. [Mr. Vasquez is also president of M V Consulting, Inc and was a 2014 candidate for the NY-22 congressional seat.]
Mr. Vasquez asked a simple and direct question, also proposed by text to WUTQ (who chose not to provide it to the public on-air) earlier on the same day when Myers appeared on Talk of the Town (and asked via Twitter – thus far no response was made to the tweet). That question was why Democrat candidate Kim Myers declined to appear at the 6th AFRTC Candidate Forum held in Vestal, NY. These Forum’s have been on-going since 2010, and it was verified that Kim Myers was invited to the event (several times) over the prior 2 months.
The following is the unedited, complete audio of the live on-air conversation:
It should be noted that in the political commentary review of the AFRTC Vestal NY Candidate Forum, all candidates that declined to attend were called out for denying the public the opportunity to evaluate the credentials and worthiness of those candidates. That included Republican incumbent Debbie Preston, as well as Democrat Kim Myers and Independent Martin Babinec (who was also addressed in the live on-air conversation) as stated in that article,
“The denial of those candidates to appear before the public can be said to be a direct statement on their concern for constituents and potentially performance if elected. To be clear, this is a statement on Martin Babinec, Debbie Preston, and Kim Myers. Each had months of preparation time and awareness. Each represents some of the least interactions with the public in the 2016 NY elections, which many feel is a disservice to the public.”
The question continuing to face candidate Myers is when, if at all, that she will appear before the public – especially in the Southern Tier – to answer questions from the public directly. Based on the stated response on WNBF, the Myers campaign appears to have no interest in such an event. M V Consulting continues to describe such an avoidance of the public and lack of transparency – from ANY candidate – as a disservice to voters.
In addition, as the question of the attendance of Babinec at the Vestal Forum was raised (he did not attend), and the accusation of debate avoidance was leveled by the Babinec campaign, another question faces the public. Why is Babinec distracting the public with the impression that a debate is being avoided (both the Myers and Tenney campaigns state this is factually incorrect) when Martin Babinec declined to respond to 2 months of requests to attend the Candidate Forum in Vestal? How sincere is the Babinec campaign about being transparent with the public on the qualifications and dedication to constituent services of Martin Babinec if no response (as has been verified) was even offered to the invitations extended to the campaign?
While voters will determine who will be the next Representative of the NY 22nd Congressional District in November, without the ability of some candidates to provide full transparency and clear explanation of where they stand on issues important to voters (as opposed to the media), some voters will have to base their vote on guesswork and zombie partisanship.
The 2016 New York election cycle has been a wild ride thus far. The April presidential primary, the Republican congressional primary, and now the State races for Senate and Assembly have kept many in the Southern Tier and the NY-22 entertained if not informed. Candidates have been kicked out of races and re-entered, 3rd party candidates have appeared, and there have been no end to the political ads since March. But with 50 days til the election, candidates met to give voters better clarity on who they are and what they hope to do if (re-)elected. One of those meetings was the Annual Candidate Forum presented by the Americans for Restoring the Constitution (AFRTC) at the Vestal Public Library in Vestal, NY. This was the 6th Candidate Forum since 2010 organized by the AFRTC. Roughly 50 members of the public – doctors, lawyers, business owners, politicians as well as just average Americans gathered for the event. Some even traveled as far as from Chenango and Tioga Counties for the event. All were present to meet with Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (Republican) candidate for the New York 22nd congressional seat; State Senator Fred Akshar (Republican) seeking re-election for the 52nd State Senate seat; Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (Democrat) incumbent looking for re-election for the 123rd Assembly seat; Dorollo Nixon (Republican) who is challenging for the 123rd Assembly seat; and Jason Garnar (Democrat) who is in the Broome County Executive race. While this event drew most of the candidates on the ballot for November 8th, not every candidate appeared. Senator Charles Schumer once again declined to respond to requests to attend the Candidate Forum. Both challengers for the Senate were unable to appear – Wendy Long (Republican) and Alex Merced (Libertarian) – due to scheduling. Mr. Merced did state that he will answer questions from the event via Youtube video, and thus will have a delayed participation but a public response. Ms. Long indicated to us that she intends to make arrangements to answer questions from the AFRTC in the near future. State Senate challenger Sharon Ball (Democrat) was unable to attend, but promised to speak with members of the AFRTC in October for a shorter introduction to a more limited group pf voters. Debbie Preston (Republican), the Broome County Executive, was unable to attend. In addition, Legislator Kim Myers (Democrat), seeking the NY-22 seat, declined to appear at the event. Martin Babinec (no Party) is a challenger now on the Reform Party line also for the NY-22 race, declined to respond to requests about the event made over the past 2 months. The AFRTC Vestal Candidate Forum is a unique event. The longest running open to the public Forum in the region, candidates are not allowed to debate or attack opponents. Questions are NOT predetermined, instead they are submitted by attendees at the event. Recordings are not allowed except by members of the media (of which the only full unedited coverage provided to the public is by M V Consulting, Inc.). Candidates get 3 minutes to introduce themselves, and 2 minutes to respond to questions, with an additional 2 minutes for closing thoughts. The popularity of the event has sparked imitation, with the Tabernacle United Methodist Church sponsoring a similar style Forum of their own for the first time in 2016. [NOTE: M V Consulting, recorded almost 2 hours of coverage of the 2 1/2 hour AFRTC event, which will be presented without edit as recorded.] Due to the more spontaneous nature of the event, and the smaller size of the venue, there was a more personal feel to the event than the United Methodist Forum. Candidates were visibly more lively and interactive. Partially because some of the questions were on unexpected subjects and/or aspects of the positions each candidate is running for. In fact some questions were presented to the candidates that were beyond the scope of the elected office they sought – providing the public with a glimpse of the ability of the candidates to react to events on the fly and a broader sense of who the candidates are. The subjects presented to some or all of the candidates included: the 10th Amendment; Abortion; Black Livers Matter; Common Core; Heroin addiction and prevention; Limited Government; Job creation and preservation; Minimum wage; Taxes; the NY and NJ bombing; and Syrian refugees to name a few. These subjects, and the reactions of candidates, are critical to voters as they represent the non-media directed concerns of voters in the 2016 election cycle. Those candidates that appeared before the attendees started the night with their introductions. Most stayed off of major talking points, introducing their motivations and goals for elected office. Each of the candidates that have held elected office presented their records to-date. Several candidates garnered hushed but definitive responses from the small crowd as they spoke, but no interruptions were made when candidates spoke. All candidates were aware that they were speaking to a more conservative and fiscal-minded audience – more representative of the wider Central New York population than the more liberal concentration of Binghamton, NY, at the United Methodist event. The difference was most clear in the candidates that were at the Taberbnacle United Methodist Candidate Forum last Thursday. Republicans were more expressive and relaxed, Democrats a bit more reserved and calm. There was a noticeable focus on facts and legislation as opposed to the focus on feelings and intentions between the 2 election events for the State level candidates. Responses by the public attendees also displayed the difference of the political philosophy present at each event.
Jason Garnar had the most stark difference. Though very comfortable for most of the Forum on Monday, he did get somewhat defensive to a couple of questions. He had the worst reaction when asked about the impact of Governor Cuomo’s policies on New York State and Broome County late in the evening. But unlike the prior event, there were no direct attacks made on his opponent in this event. His disclosure of support from 2 known Republican politicians took some attendees unaware, and he was generally well received by the gathered public. Dorollo Nixon was the equal of Mr. Garnar in presentation, as he was more relaxed and expressive than a week ago. Only the second time that Mr. Nixon has been in an event with his opponent present, Mr. Nixon was more detailed in his views and motivations. While many of his answers were very well received (such as his strong stance on term limits that he pledged to uphold if elected) his response to the question on Syrian refugees – asked of every candidate at the event – may have been the only question that members of the audience had the greatest resistance with. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo was again very poised. Her response to the varied questions was measured and direct – except when asked to evaluate Governor Cuomo which some in the audience noted to us after the event as being vague. In addition, we were asked by several attendees to followup the answer on minimum wages and its impact on the Southern Tier in our interview on September 20, 2016 with the Assemblywoman. Yet, there was no misunderstanding her opposition to the Buffalo Billions and similar programs that have received large sums of taxpayer funds but have had little success to show for this spending. State Senator Fred Akshar was the first candidate that had to leave the event early due to other commitments. Even so he did answer all questions asked by the public at the event. A consistent passion to address the heroin crisis was evident in many of his answers. The biggest surprise from questions answered may have been the honest evaluation that the SAFE Act can not be fully repealed but rather modified – at least as long as the Assembly is controlled by Democrats and Gov. Cuomo holds office. Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney was immediately responsive to the questions re-entering the congressional race from the primary. She started the evening addressing again the attacks on her attendance record – one of the biggest negative ad attacks levied against her in the Republican primary and now picked up in ads from the Nancy Pelosi directed PAC on NY-22 airwaves. Beyond that she was firm and consistent in her defense of veterans, and support of Constitutional Rights and values. She may have been the best received of all the candidates at the event based on feedback we received from some of the attendees. It must be noted and emphasized that several of the candidates at the event did not have their challengers present to provide the opposing viewpoints or clarity on their campaigns. The denial of those candidates to appear before the public can be said to be a direct statement on their concern for constituents and potentially performance if elected. To be clear, this is a statement on Martin Babinec, Debbie Preston, and Kim Myers. Each had months of preparation time and awareness. Each represents some of the least interactions with the public in the 2016 NY elections, which many feel is a disservice to the public. In conclusion the Americans for Restoring the Constitution 6th Candidate Forum in Vestal, NY, was a very successful event. Candidates were able to address multiple questions of concerned voters, providing their insight and motivations. Voters that are seeking information to help determine the best candidate for the varied elected offices will find some answers in the responses given – that M V Consulting is the only news media providing, without edit, full coverage for the public. ** Video of the Q & A is being processed and the article will be updated once videos (due to length it will be split, without edit, into several parts) are available. M V Consulting, Inc. has, or will be, interviewing several candidates in the 2016 NY elections. Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, State Senator Fred Akshar, and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo have been interviewed. Requests for interview have been extended to Kim Myers, Martin Babinec, and Sharon Ball – thus far all without response. Dorollo Nixon and Jason Garnar have expressed interest to conduct interviews which will be published when and if done. **
Saturday September 17, 2016, New York City was once again the center of troubling news. At about 8:40 PM an explosion occurred that injured 29 people. 1 individual is reported to be in serious condition but expected to survive. That explosion was at 23rd St. & 6th Ave.
It took little time for NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio to report that he believed the explosion to be an intentional act. He would not go so far as to say that it was an act of terrorism, or connected to a bomb in Seaside Park, NJ that detonated earlier in the day. That New Jersey attack is believed to have targeted the U.S. Marine Corps. who were conducting a race at the time.
As the hours and investigation continued, 2 additional devices were believed to have been found in NYC. One was found at West 27th Street & 6th Ave, appearing to be a modified pressure cooker. At 3:56 AM this suspected device was announced to be just a pressure cooker. Then at roughly 3am another device was reported by Jean Cesarez of CNN to be found at 28th Street & 5th Ave. By 3:40 AM CNN reported that the 3rd device on 28th Street was determined to be a false incident.
The question being discussed on CNN by 3:10 AM was why these locations. Reporters on the scene in lower Manhattan for CNN stated on-air,
“…I can’t understand why these Streets were picked.”
Why indeed these locations (in New Jersey and 23rd Street in New York)? Is there a connection to the attack in New Jersey? Why is this NOT being called a terrorist attack?
The facts are still being determined in the early hours of September 18, 2016. But there is strong reason to believe, as suggested by guest consultant Steve Moore at 3:14 AM on CNN, that this is an act of terrorism – potentially created by an inept bombmaker. And it may well be connected to the event in New Jersey though no official connection has been made yet.
With the clarity of understanding the explosions (in NJ and NYC) as acts of terrorism, the locations chosen are very understandable. Terrorism regularly targets military that are unaware – such as with IED attacks. Terrorism, especially incidents in the US to-date, commonly attack civilians as they live their day-to-day lives. The San Bernadino shooting and Orlando Nightclub attack were clear examples of this. The fact that 23rd Street is a largely residential area should not confuse news media on the motivation of terrorists – unless the potential to alter the direction of the discussion is desired as occurred after Orlando.
Taken separately why would this be called an “intentional act” by Mayor DeBlasio but not a terrorist act, with similar language used in Seaside Park? The most clear answers would be economics, as additional terror attacks on NYC (or in New Jersey) would affect tourism. Similar to what happened after the first Twin Tower attack in 1993. Given the fragile economics of New York, which has had an exodus of over 600,000 people and $22 billion in wealth, economics matter.
In addition another factor would be politics. If New York City remains a terror target, the claims by the Obama Administration and the Hillary Clinton campaign that the nation is safer than when under Republican President Bush is undermined. The suggestion of success in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the continuing battles with ISIS, come under scrutiny and likely challenge if NYC is not reliably safe. At a time when Hillary Clinton is losing ground for failure to disclose the condition of her health, and President Obama has taken to using race to motivate support in the 2016 Presidential election, failure of international policy could eliminate the potential of a Democrat win.
In many ways this is like the way that the Benghazi attack was misreported to the public as being caused by a video instead of a terror attack. As Ben Rhodes, then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser, stated in his Benghazi memo as found by FOIA from Judicial Watch,
“To underscore that these protests are rooted in and Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”
Though America has since learned that the connection to a video was a false narrative, it was only learned after the 2012 election occurred. It would not be beyond the imagination to see additional acts in NYC downplayed for similar effect.
In a similar way the explosion in New Jersey seems to be left unconnected to the explosion in New York City. How an attack that seems to have been timed to try to create maximum casualties against US military would not be seen as a terrorist act is unclear. Given the relatively close locations (81 miles) and the fact that early reports seem to indicate that both devices may have been made inefficiently (there were 3 pipe bombs in NJ, though only 1 detonated), some level of co-ordination would appear likely.
Again, if that is the case – which has NOT been confirmed at this time – the political impact is a negative in presidential politics. If these attacks are connected in any way, the blowback politically could even affect Congressional, State and local races. Democrats that had aligned with President Obama’s international policy and supported the early actions of the Clinton State Department could find voters anger leveled at them in the election polls.
While questions abound, and as details are learned, there seems to be no question that both incidents on September 17th were terrorist acts – meant to target the US military and civilians alike. Perhaps the only question is if these are home-grown terrorists or fanatics that infiltrated the nation. Depending on the answer to that final question, the official definition may vary from terrorism to a far less politically charged title, in the same vein as the Ft. Hood shooting, That incident became a workplace shooting even as the shooter declared the fanatical religious and political motivations of the crime.
Thus far no American has lost their life in these 2 incidents. But as pressure mounts to understand who did this and why, the likelihood of a change in the way these incidents are defined and who or what should be blamed, may well take a path that logic will not be involved with.
September 16, 2016 – In the Binghamton, NY studio of WNBF, Binghamton Now host Bob Joseph introduced listeners to a local organization that they may not have been previously aware. That organization is Broome County Adopt-A-Park, a for-profit that seeks to generate and increase tourism and recreation, not just to the parks of Broome County but to the many unique and less known attractions of the region.
The talk radio interview covered a range of questions about the organization, including what is the main purpose. Jiyan Omar, one of 5 Board members, detailed the mission statement in her first appearance on live radio.
“Our parks are inviting, stimulating, safe gathering places for all residents, celebrating the diversity of our neighborhoods, encouraging interaction. Our local businesses are the corner stone to our success. We encourage tourism and bringing the community together through recreation in our parks and community.”
Michael Vasquez, another Board member and political commentator (owner of M V Consulting, Inc.) also spoke with Mr. Joseph about the past paranormal investigations event held at the Bundy Museum in August, as well as the upcoming 1st Annual Medieval LARP. That LARP (Live Action Role Play) event will take place on September 18, 2016, in Otsiningo Park at 12-4pm.
The full 21 minute interview – that included a brief discussion of the Tabernacle United Methodist Candidate Forum (which Bob Joseph hosted and Michael Vasquez attended) at the end of the interview – can be seen below:
For those interested in future paranormal investigations in Broome County, the LARP event on September 18, 2016, or would like know more about Broome County Adopt-A-Park, visit: https://bcadoptaparkllc.wordpress.com/
The evening of September 15, 2016, found 6 candidates gathered at the Tabernacle United Methodist Church at 83 Main Street in Binghamton, NY. The 2+ hour gathering was a public event to allow candidates for the NY 52nd State Senate, the 123rd Assembly, and Broome County Executive elections to gather and present where they stand on some of the critical issues facing the State and local community.
More than 75 people attended the event, moderated by Bob Joseph of WNBF and the Binghamton Now talk radio program. The candidates were: incumbent State Senator Fred Akshar and his challenger Sharon Ball; incumbent Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and her opponent Dorollo Nixon; and the incumbent Debbie Preston with her challenger Jason Garnar. The audience included several prominent members of Citizen Action, supporters from the Democratic and Republican Parties, and 2 of the major news stations (WICZ and WBNG).
The Candidate Forum was not a debate, rather it was an opportunity for each candidate to introduce themselves to the public. After the opening statements of each candidate, there were 4 general topics that had been agreed to by all the campaigns. They were Jobs, Heroin, Healthcare, and Community. From this realm of subjects, each candidate answered a question generated and offered by Bob Joseph. In all 5 questions were asked – What initiatives to bring jobs would the candidate seek; What more can we do about the Heroin epidemic; Programs to engage the youth; How to address the needs of the senior citizen population; and the Environment. The event then finished with closing statements by each candidate. Each candidate was allotted 90 seconds to answer, that was amended to 2 minutes by moderator Bob Joseph after all had answered the first question. Candidates were asked to refrain from attacks on their opponents, Parties, or other candidates.
What followed [Listen to audio of first hour of Forum] in some ways was the expected. Incumbents highlighted the record of recent achievements that they had accomplished, challengers promised a new direction. Republicans focused on cutting taxes, funding, regulations, and minimizing government intrusion. Democrats focused on training, blame of corporations, and larger government focus on individual needs. But to say that was all that was said would be an insult to incumbents, challengers, Republicans and Democrats.
In reference to jobs, the first question of the night and the most critical issue in the mind of constituents in the Southern Tier (currently there is a 5.6% unemployment rate as of July according to BLS data) there were a range of answers. State Sen. Akshar emphasized that the government cannot be the primary source of jobs and minimizing government intrusion was key to his small business advisory council. Sharon Ball focused on culture as being the cure to the lack of jobs, defying the need for outside investments or companies. Assemblywoman Lupardo addressed the benefits of regional partnerships created via Gov. Cuomo, and how this has improved agriculture and transportation in the area. Dorollo Nixon noted how only organic growth of business via entreprenuers could resolve the problems currently faced, and gave and example of how over-regulation was killing small business owners (as well as a potential solution to this problem). County Executive Preston echoed the thought that too much red tape was impeding growth, and several projects are ready to launch in coming weeks. Jason Garnar highlighted his belief that though 2,000 job opening exist at this time this was due to a lack of job training – a result of funding cuts.
Of course there were points that each candidate avoided or obfuscated as well. For Sen. Akshar and Assemblywoman Lupardo it was their votes for $15 minimum wage. Sharon Ball failed to address how focus on arts would benefit farmers and manufacturers in the District. Dorollo Nixon failed to clarify how his solution of 1 year licenses (excluding Doctors/Lawyers/and similar specialized fields) would not grow government. County Executive Preston took credit for the Dick’s Sporting Goods deal, and ignored the fact that airport flights from the region had recently been reduced due to lack of need. Jason Garnar edged on attacking his opponent in opposition to the rules, and repeated virtually verbatim his position that he stated in an interview just prior to the event and a video placed on Facebook earlier in the day.
But the forum was not about overly in-depth answers from any candidate. Nor was it meant to address every aspect of the issues being discussed. What it did do was clarify where each candidate stood and how they propose to carry out the duties of the respective positions they are asking the public to elect them to. Each candidate clearly stood out from their opponent in each criteria being asked. In that regard the event was a major success.
To the issue of the Heroin crisis, all the candidates agreed that more needs to be done. Jason Garnar relayed the personal aspect of the issue as it affected his own family, and his desire to increase medical health services. County Executive Preston detailed her efforts with Albany to repurpose the closed Broome Developmental Center and confirmed increased funding in 2017. Dorollo Nixon looked at the spiritual aspects of addiction, and that more beds for rehabilitation is not the same as a solution to the problem though education from police in schools detailing the serious problems of addiction may be one solution. Assemblywoman Lupardo recalled how her efforts years ago to stem over-prescription practices turned out to not be enough, and blamed insurance companies practices for reducing the potential treatment of some addicts. Sharon Ball was the only candidate to bring race into any issue discussed, equated the reaction to the Heroin crisis to that of the early stages of the AIDS crisis, and emphasized how this must be fought as a cultural issue with families and community to be combated. State Sen. Akshar noted his multiple efforts to date in creating programs to fight this crisis along with the State Senate, his work in the community on the issue, and a call to end political posturing that hampers efforts to combat Heroin use.
In responding to the question of retaining and providing programs for the youth in Binghamton, a population that leads the exodus out of the County, Asseblywoman Lupardo noted her connection to her young staff as representatives of the younger community, their needs and desires, while celebrating their innovation. Dorollo Nixon related one of several experiences he had with youth detailing how difficult the job market had become and the need to change New York from the least business friendly State by cutting regulations and taxes. Sen. Akshar identified a focus on young children in lower grades of public school and how he helped in directing $434 million to maintain and grow school programs will motivate the youth. Sharon Ball lamented the struggle for hope among the youth, and suggested fighting the perception that youth (and the general public) lack the ability to change Government and policy. County Executive Preston promoted the grants she had gotten to expand after school programs – Mountain bikes in Harpursville, a modified fitness room in Binghamton, and a gardening program in Deposit – and the expectation to widen the number of similar programs. Jason Garnar, citing his experiences with his own young children, related the importance of parents being able to spend time with their children as well as the need for some form of mentorship when that is not possible – while blaming the Cuomo 2% tax cap for limiting the breath of such programs available.
In looking at the other end of the spectrum of the community, Senior Citizens, many of the candidates took a moment to jokingly jab at each other and themselves on their ages before getting serious on the issue. Sharon Ball started the responses by sharing her experience in becoming a retiree and how the need for government “navigators” (people to help seniors find and maximize their options) is necessary. Sen. Akshar followed, relaying his efforts to help extend the fixed income of seniors via enhanced STAR programs, providing $26 million in Alzheimer’s research funding, and touting a need to reduce regulations that prevent local government from further helping seniors. Dorollo Nixon shared his experience as a Board member in an organization to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, and reminded those in attendance that the need for jobs was as imperative for seniors as it is for the youth. Assemblywoman Lupardo observed that many seniors may be uncomfortable and unaware of the services available in echoing the need for “navigators” as Sharon Ball had related, and shared her thoughts on expanding home services as an alternative to nursing homes. Jason Garnar shared a story of his grandparents experiences with advanced age, and how the need for transportation even for those not quite officially seniors is a vital concern. County Executive Preston celebrated the fact that she has kept and ensured for the future that Willow Point Nursing Home would not close on her watch, while confirming that additional minibuses were on the way to further increase the mobility of seniors in the region.
Overall, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo was perhaps the most polished of the candidates at the Tabernacle Forum. Equally it would be fair to say that State Senator Akshar was the most energetic. The most pragmatic would be Dorollo Nixon, the most idealistic Sharon Ball, and most confrontational would be Jason Garnar who ended the night violating the terms of the Forum with a direct attack on County Executive Debbie Preston that was met with a counter-attack in reply.
For those members of the public that missed the event, there will be another candidate forum at the Vestal Public Library on Monday September 19, 2016. The event, the 6th Candidate Forum by the Americans for Restoring the Constitution (AFRTC) since 2010, will also include NY-22 congressional candidate Claudia Tenney – Kim Myers declined to attend, Martin Babinec did not respond to requests to attend. State Senate candidate Sharon Ball will not be able to appear but will meet with members of the AFRTC at a later date. County Executive Debbie Preston declined the event.
The AFRTC Candidate Forum features questions collected from attendees presented to the candidates. Candidates are under time restriction to respond, as with all forums and debates. No attacks of other candidates are allowed.
** Note – M V Consulting, Inc has in the past and/or will be interviewing several of the candidates at the Tabernacle Candidate Forum. Interviews in the past have been done with State Senator Fred Akshar, as well as Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (who will again be interviewed next week). Jason Garnar has confirmed the intent to be interviewed in the next 2 weeks based on schedule availability. Offers for interview have been extended to all other candidates as well. **
On September 14, 2016, I reposted an article NEW DOCUMENT LEAK: List Shows Top Democratic Donors Were Awarded Ambassadorships And Federal Posts about the leak of Democratic National Committee records showing the apparent connection of donations and political appointments. In addition to that post, I added a comment about my conclusion from the points of the article.
The following is that comment, followed by a response from a Democratic consultant [We apologixe as we provided an incorrect title to Mr. Maidment. That was our error and is now corrected], with followup from me. I will also include a post from September 15, 2016, by Ed Hickey that more gleefully emphasizes the point:
“Michael Vasquez: So the DNC does not deny the veracity of the claim that donors were given political appointments in exchange of donations. Where is Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Chuck Schumer, even Gov. Cuomo and congressional candidate Kim Myers speaking against even the appearance of pay to play and the corruption the appearance places on our Government. Where are these top Dems demanding a review and seeking to hold someone accountable. I won’t ask Hillary “Clinton Foundation ” as her position on the issue seems clear. Or does the Democrat Party only believe everyone but them need to be accountable to the public.”
Quintin Maidment: For better or worse, this is standard practice and was just as common in the bush administration. Its like trying to create a scandall about a political hack getting a job in the county clerk’s office.
Michael Vasquez: All the more reason to call it out now that some transparency exists (no thanks to the promised transparency of the Obama Admin). This is the perfect time for Dems to highlight the issue and first call for and then enact change to end this practice. That is I’d their claims have any validity.
If Kim Myers is even slightly serious about fighting for the public, she can show her resolve here. Pelosi (a major Myers donor) and Reid have been in office for decades and are part of the problem (as is Hillary). Gov. Cuomo – well his 3 corruption investigations (one still on-going as the others cleared out almost everyone around him) say it all there.”
This is the separate response from Ed Hickey on the same subject with the GoFundMe account to go with it –
“I don’t get the money, prestigious position of ambassador to Ireland (or gigantic cableknit sweaters), if I don’t make my goal so donate generously and help get the word out!”
In this pay to play world I feel like my talents are being hampered by my means. With your help I can donate my way into the prestigious role of Ambasador to Ireland. Give generously as I will also need to buy some gigantic cableknit sweaters. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation!
So far, Mr. Hickey has raised $100 towards the goal of $1.3 million in just the first 4 hours the account has existed. The GoFundMe account has been tweeted 55 times, in addition to 11 shares and 31 likes at the time of this article.
** Update – We were provided this quote from Mr. Hickey, owner of several small businesses including the Belmar Pub in Binghamton, NY,
“I think America should be represented internationally by Americans, not just the affluent millionaires purchasing Ambassador roles. My goal is paying attention to the ridiculous level the “Pay-to-Play” has achieved.
If all goes well, I’ll be picking up a side job in Dublin to help make ends meet in a year or two when I’ve secured the donation. I’ve been told I would make a pretty good barkeep.”
The current total of donations to the GoFundMe campaign is now $150.
The following are the Facebook posts, written as Binghamton Mayor Rich David presented the 2017 City of Binghamton Budget, on September 13, 2016:
I will be at 2017 Binghamton Budget announcement tonight. Expect some tweets and posts live.
- As the proceedings start, Councilman MacGregor is not present. Mayor being introduced by Councilman Chris Papastrat. Mayor starting with LUMA success.
- Sales tax for Binghamton, 2nd largest revenue source, $10.6 million. $200,000 to be added by change from County Exec Preston in 2017.
- City pension will increase $300k in 2017. 2 police dedicated for public schools, and college will continue. 40 patrol cars will be equipped with cameras as of next week.
- City to hit annual 15 mile improvements to roads. Clinton street bridge to be finished 2017. $105k going to improve parks. War on blight has removed 55 buildings and “dozens” targeted going forward.
- Fairview program has 85% success rate. LED lights saved $400k thus far.
Video of Mayor David discussing status of budget – https://www.facebook.com/ElectMichaelVasquezNY/videos/523869547813311/
Video of live presentation on grants of Binghamton – https://www.facebook.com/ElectMichaelVasquezNY/videos/523867284480204/
- Commercial taxes to be cut .84% in 2017. Second straight year of commercial tax cuts.
Video of announcement on reduction in resident property taxes – https://www.facebook.com/ElectMichaelVasquezNY/videos/523868001146799/
Final words from Mayor Rich David on budget – https://www.facebook.com/ElectMichaelVasquezNY/videos/523867284480204/
Councilman Papistrat states after event that budget will allow for a safe, clean, fiscally stable Binghamton going forward
“Budget will make residents and business owners happy with first major cuts since 1998″, as stated to me by Councilman John Matzo.
As the nation is fed near endless discussion on the inartful words of Donald Trump, while avoiding various scandals of Hillary Clinton, attention has been removed from President Obama and international policy. Correction, international policy except when a potential 3rd Party candidate (Gary Johnson) – who has gained exponential exposure since his run in 2012 – is fed a somewhat trick question, using the name of a specific city in Syria to address the entire Syrian conflict. But what has been diminished is a potential danger to America.
Then-Senator Obama started in 2007 with a message of open conversation to address the international conflicts and political minefield that is the world. It was in the July 2007 debate that Obama noted his intention to have open, non-preconditioned talks with the rogue nations of the world. He stated in the CNN debate that,
“I would, [talk without precondition]” Obama said. “And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration — is ridiculous.”
In May 2008, the presidential candidate doubled down on his thoughts, providing the following quote
“Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power – including tough, principled, and direct diplomacy — to pressure countries like Iran and Syria,” Obama said. “George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president’s extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel.”
To bring this discussion up to date, the question that America needs to address is what has been the result of this international policy. Specifically, in regard to North Korea, how effective has this plan been?
The answer is a resounding and troubling failure. Defined by active development of nuclear weapons, repeated nuclear weapon tests, along with development of missiles capable of reaching the United States. It was in October 2006 that North Korea entered the category of nuclear world powers with a failed test of a 1 kiloton weapon. But the open discussion policy of the Obama Administration has been witness to 4 nuclear weapon tests. That Obama Administration policy has also resulted in 8 missile tests.
In each case, the White House has responded with a harsh rebuke. The September 9, 2016 nuclear test earned the following response,
“Today’s test, North Korea’s second this year, follows an unprecedented campaign of ballistic missile launches, which North Korea claims are intended to serve as delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons targeting the United States and our allies, the Republic of Korea and Japan. As Commander in Chief, I have a responsibility to safeguard the American people and ensure that the United States is leading the international community in responding to this threat and North Korea’s other provocations with commensurate resolve and condemnation…
Last night I returned from the G-20 and East Asia Summit meetings in Asia, where my counterparts and I were united in our call for North Korea to return to the path of denuclearization… We agreed to work with the UN Security Council, our other Six-Party partners, and the international community to vigorously implement existing measures imposed in previous resolutions, and to take additional significant steps, including new sanctions, to demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to its unlawful and dangerous actions.”
It cannot be more blatant nor clear that the Obama international policy has failed in regard to North Korea. Public rebuke and continuation of existing sanctions have not only failed, but under the lukewarm stance of the Obama Administration, seem to have accelerated the development by North Korea. But this policy is influencing the future of America and world politics.
Looking forward via the 2016 presidential nominees, the solution offered by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is to begin negotiations similar to the controversial Iran Nuclear Deal – which has directly funded terrorism as stated by Secretary John Kerry,
“I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists.” – January 21, 2016 – CNN
Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate has not directly stated a position on the North Korea nuclear test at the time of this article. Surrogates for Trump have said that, “He’s not going to reveal all of his plans and he’s made that very clear and maybe someone can ask him in a debate. But the fact is that this entire world would be put on notice that there’s a strong leader in the White House.”
Gary Johnson, when asked about the situation on Sept. 9, 2016, noted that conventional escalation in the region is not possible,
““I don’t think that capability exists,” he said. “Of course, that would be the input that I’m getting right now. In fact, South Korea is so far advanced, the economies are nowhere near comparable in scale. North Korea [invading] is just not going to happen.”
Thus voters face the question of continuing a policy that has resulted in increased threat to America, or ignoring the threat to the US and its Allies, or the unknown but strongly implied threat of action. Which future course is best is a matter of debate, but the clock is running out on when that debate will be had with public.