On June 16, 2015, we sent letters to Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, NY State Senator Joseph Griffo, Representative Richard Hanna, and Senator Charles Schumer. These letters, acknowledged as received, were in reference to the on-going investigation on the $5 million in tax dollars spent – and millions in proposed spending – for the unmanned aerial systems (drone) testing sites, with emphasis on the Griffiss International Airport site located in Rome, NY. These letters requested a response to the claims made by each elected politician on the benefit of jobs and tax revenue for New York State, made since 2013, based on the Drone testing site becoming operations – which was achieved in 2014.
As of this article, none of the politicians have responded to this request. Instead we have received a monthly newsletter from Representative Richard Hanna. This public newsletter was sent by the office of Rep. Hanna on June 28, 2015. In response we have sent the a followup letter to request again the response to our letter on June 16, 2015, as well as in regard to the following issues:
In the public news letter, Rep. Hanna states in part,
“Affordable Care Act (Ruling on Thursday): I respect the Supreme Court, however, I am disappointed with today’s decision and maintain my opinion that the Affordable Care Act is deeply flawed.”
“Marriage equality (Ruling on Friday): While it is often difficult, democracy – and how it is defined – is not simply what we demand for ourselves but how and what we defend for others.”
In addition the newsletter provided a link to a monthly veteran’s update. The June update speaks to the Traveling Vietnam Memorial which will be in the 22nd Congressional district. The May spoke to the passage of the NDAA and support of veterans.
Our letter sent to Rep. Hanna on June 28, 2015 states,
Representative Richard Hanna,
I am contacting, both as a constituent and as a member of the press, in regard to 2 items. For full disclosure I note that you and your staff know me and are aware of my credentials – which have been acknowledged in the past.
Therefore I ask first, why have neither you, nor your staff, responded to the request for an update and comment on the claims you made previously – and the tax dollars you have proposed to spend – on the unmanned aerial systems testing sites. This request was sent to you and your staff on June 16, 2015.
Second, I ask, in reference to the public email you sent on June 28, 2015, the following:
You note your displeasure with the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare. But on multiple occasions in the past you have disputed the Republican Party position on the Affordable Care Act. You in fact voted to fund the ACA and opposed the shutdown of the Government to support Obamacare. Further, you have stated that in your support of 3 separate abortion Bills over the past 3 years, your reason was to provide women health care coverage, which is derived from Obamcare.
Based on your past actions, your statement of displeasure with the Supreme Court ruling seems to be at odds. Can you clarify the discrepancy?
In reference to the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, you note in the public mailing, that you state,
“While it is often difficult, democracy – and how it is defined – is not simply what we demand for ourselves but how and what we defend for others.”
Based on that statement, how do you resolve the apparent breach of the 10th Amendment, as noted by the dissenting Supreme Court Justice? Further, what is your position of the apparent application of the logic used to justify the gay marriage ruling to the 2nd Amendment – specifically in light of the NY SAFE Act and the 23 Executive Orders issued by President Obama?
Lastly, Rep. Hanna, you link in that same public email to your monthly update on veterans site. Neither in the update site, nor found in searches, has there been any comment on the news that Veterans are waiting 50% longer than last year as the VA Scandal shocked the nation. What have you done to address veteran concerns that have increased wait times in New York State and across the country?
We look forward to your response, and as always will publish your response verbatim and in full context. If you prefer, we are open to the opportunity to provide a video interview on these and other issues if you prefer.
Michael “Vass” Vasquez
We have provided this information as the public needs to be aware of what publicly elect officials are doing. In addition it is critical for the public to know the issues the news media are presenting to public officials and the response that is made (or avoided as the case may be).