Repost from April 24, 2014
What do you do if you are an incumbent with a record of attacking your own Party, voting against the wishes of constituents, and supporting job creation for foreigners over Americans? In the case of Rep. Richard Hanna, you avoid any public instance of defending your record and instead try to distract voters. A classic bait and switch manuever, one of the very worst of immoral sales tactics.
To be clear, on 4/21/14, WNBF News Radio and Time Warner Cable invited Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney and the incumbent to debate the issues. This is a critical offer as there is no Democrat in the race and whomever wins the NY Primary on June 24th will defacto be the next Representative in Congress for the NY 22nd Congressional District.
Assemblywoman Tenney accepted. Rep. Richard Hanna made no comment. Until April 24th. That when he went on the offensive in an offense to voters.
Rep. Hanna chose to try to steer the discussion away from the issue at hand, which is his voting record and positions he has taken. Instead he has attacked Claudia Tenney about doing her job as an Assemblywoman. He has tried to shift the race for the NY-22 to a race for the 101st Assembly seat – which is not even in question at this time.
Hidden deep in the attack on Tenney was the following response about the actual issue, the debates, “A Hanna spokesperson says the Congressman has neither officially accepted nor refused the offer to debate.”
Neither refused or accepted? Which is it? Why is there such ambivalence?
Still, the response is not shocking. Rep. Hanna took the same stance in the summer of 2014, while the nation and the world took a position on the unilateral actions of President Obama and Syria. At the time I stated,
“[Hanna] is 1 of 2 Republicans, and 1 of 16 members of Congress representing New York State, that have clearly stated they have no position on the issue at this time.
“When the use-of-force resolution is finalized, I will review it closely to determine whether or not actions enabled by it advance vital interests of the United States and are in the best interest of upstate New Yorkers” – Rep. Richard Hanna 9/4/13
…@electvasquezny – “Leadership is not about winning every battle or being right in every debate, its about decisiveness in the face of ambiguity.”
Of course Rep. Hanna learned from his honest portrayal of his bandwagoning attempt in 2013. Thus we see that in 2014, rather than take a stand so that voters can actually evaluate him, he has chosen to deflect away from the issue. He is actively hiding from the voters – a sure sign in my mind that he is aware that his record will cost him the election if anyone looks at it.
Once again Rep. Hanna assumes that the public is too dumb to see his actions for what they are, and he hopes (I believe) that they are too apathetic to take action in the Primary in June. I believe he is wrong on both counts.
The NY-22, and America as a whole, deserve to have politicians that are willing to stand up and be accountable. Congress is rife with manipulators that are only successful at maintaining their own positions of power, and the approval rating reflects this. It is well beyond time that we see principled, consistent, accountable representation on the floor of Congress.
The fact that Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney has a record that confirms this is a threat to the re-election of Rep. Hanna, and thus – without a record of consistency or even publicly supported positions – the Hanna campaign is resorting to dirty tricks and mudslinging.
I think we can clearly see why he won’t take a position on a debate.