NY23 Debate: Rep. Tom Reed (R) vs. Martha Robertson (D) ‘75

A crowd of over two hundred people packed into Clemens Center in Elmira, New York on the evening of Oct. 23 to get the chance to watch live the only debate between House Rep. Tom Reed (R) and his Democratic challenger, Martha Robertson ’75.

The auditorium itself only had capacity for roughly 160 spectators, and since Reed supporters had arrived earlier most seats went to them.

The debate questions were more or less what were expected. Topics included immigration policy, Obamacare, gun control, minimum wage, climate change, Medicare and Social Security, ISIS, and jobs. Interestingly, but not so unexpectedly (and quite coincidentally too), there was a question about Ebola and travel bans.

Here’s a rundown:

  • Immigration Policy
    • Reed: Doesn’t support amnesty and believes Senate bill gives amnesty; willing to compromise to give citizenship to illegal aliens’ children but not adults who come to the U.S. illegally
    • Robertson: Supports Senate bill, criticized Reed and Republican House for blocking the bill, said bill was good enough for the Senate but “not good enough [for Reed or the Republicans] to vote”
  • Impact of the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare)
    • Robertson: Criticized Reed for being a medical debt collector and cited medical bills as number one cause of personal bankruptcy; ACA not perfect but can be reformed; told an anecdote about a friend named Phil who, without Obamacare, would have gone bankrupt; criticized Reed for voting 50 times to repeal Obamacare, 50 times to “bankrupt Phil”
    • Reed: Said voting 50 times to repeal Obamacare “right thing to do”; need tort reform, promotion of hospices, “empower individuals and doctors, not insurance companies and government”; criticized Robertson for supporting single-payer (Robertson in rebuttal denied saying despite video of her doing so)
  • Gun violence legislation, universal background checks
    • Reed: Member of NRA for life with A+ rating, said Robertson has an F rating; real conversation should be about mental health; must defend 2nd Amendment rights; those who commit crimes with guns should lose right
    • Robertson: Claimed against New York’s SAFE Act and wants to repeal though Reed later challenged this point which prompted Robertson to say “you’re lying”; for universal background checks and criticized Reed for voting to cut mental health services
  • Federal minimum wage
    • Robertson: Need an “economy that includes everyone”; wants higher federal minimum wage, referenced Wal-Mart indirectly receiving government welfare because its employees receive entitlements; said 2/3 of women earn minimum wage so this issue is also a women’s issue
    • Reed: Should think about minimum wage as “starting wage” and instead focus on creating more opportunities for advancement; claimed Robertson supports living wage of $22/hour–“that’s extreme”; Robertson denied this in rebuttal, saying “facts matter”; wants local control over minimum wages not federal decree, what works in one area of country might not in another
  • Climate Change
    • Reed: Everyone can agree on preventing pollution; all regulations should have cost-benefit analysis
    • Robertson: Says it’s a question of jobs, fighting climate change “biggest jobs generator”; criticized Reed for being “funded by the oil and gas industry” and for thinking “95% of scientists are wrong”; called Reed a “climate denier
  • Senior Issues (i.e. Social Security and Medicare)
    • Robertson: Opposes “disastrous” votes, raise Social Security cap to ensure people have “retirement with dignity
    • Reed: By 2033 Social Security will be bankrupt; need reform but not affect those currently receiving benefits or those about to; reform for those “generation outside of receiving benefits”
  • Common Core
    • Reed: Against Common Core, calling it a “big government, one-size-fits-all” program; should empower parents, local governments,and teachers instead
    • Robertson: Every child should have quality education, need basic educational standards; supports Common Core just not implementation; criticized “high-stakes testing”; mentioned she was a kindergarten teacher
  • Ebola and travel bans
    • Robertson: Need to keep U.S. safe; criticized Reed for “mindless cuts” to CDC and NIH; read from a note card a quote from the director of the NIH about cuts affecting ability to fight Ebola
    • Reed: Supports travel ban or at least strong detention-type policy; claimed recent funding to CDC and NIH in areas related to fighting diseases like Ebola increased; said “Robertson wants to throw more money at problems”; need to hold government accountable (in rebuttal Robertson said Reed making cuts where U.S. needs most, must pay his “fair share”)
  • Create more jobs
    • Reed: 4 points- reduce national debt, reform tax code, reduce regulations, and have “all above energy plan”; claimed Robertson voted to raise taxes while on the Tompkins County Legislature
    • Robertson: Criticized fracking (Reed mentioned it) and Reed for being funded by oil and gas industry; said Reed supports fracking except in “his own backyard”; mentioned Reed owns a vacation home in the Finger Lakes region; said only raised taxes 43 cents in 12 years
  • ISIS
    • Robertson: Said being a kindergarten teacher taught her how to make people get along; need to build coalitions, no boots on the ground
    • Reed: Need “peace through strength”; need secure borders and protect homeland; denied supporting boots on the ground
  • Questions for each other
    • Reed to Robertson: Why she never responded to letters from him to help save Lansing power plant and 500 jobs it supported; Robertson claimed letters looked like “form letters”
    • Robertson to Reed: Why Reed part of “war on women” (this elicited laughter from the audience); Reed: denounced “political rhetoric”

Historical Revisionism Courtesy of the Daily Sun and Graduate Student Assembly

The wisdom of Calvin and Hobbes.

The wisdom of Calvin and Hobbes.

Earlier this week the Cornell Daily Sun reaffirmed its dearth of journalistic integrity and acumen by blindly reporting as fact recent historical revisionism crafted by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly’s (GPSA).

The revisionism is found in this Sun article, “In Response to Skorton Column, GPSA Discusses University’s Effect on Free Speech.” The article describes a recent GPSA meeting where president Richard Walroth asked members to discuss Skorton’s late-September op-ed in the Daily Sun about free speech on campus.

Read this excerpt from the Sun article:

Replying to questions about what prompted Skorton to issue this statement, Christine Yao grad cited a recent nationally reported controversy that she said pitted civility against freedom of speech.

The controversy Yao goes on to cite? The Steven Salaita controversy. Salaita is an English professor whose offer of employment at the University of Illinois was rescinded after the university was made aware of his anti-Israel tweets. This situation justifiably lead to an intense national debate about free speech on college campuses.

Regardless of one’s opinions about Salaita, the real issue here is that Skorton’s column was not about Salaita. It was about the Julius Kairey flyers. Though Skorton doesn’t reference either outright, he does write extensively about free speech on campus, an issue considerably more pertinent to the flyers than to Salaita’s tweets. Further, Skorton wrote about “civility and free speech,” which again is an issue more pertinent to the vilifying smear campaign against Kairey.

By the way, do readers remember the Julius Kairey flyer controversy, which the Cornell Review pushed to national headlines?

In the controversy’ aftermath, only the Review cared to cover what was up to then the biggest news story on campus (still only rivaled today by the announcement of university’s next president). Sun senior editors wrote but a short letter obliquely referencing what happened. Ten days after the Review first reported the story, and after it made national headlines, and after Review inquiries to numerous Cornell departments–including Bias Reporting and Media Relations–went unanswered, President David Skorton penned an op-ed for the Sun entitled “Civility and Free Speech: Are They Incompatible?” Like the Sun editors’ letter, this piece barely qualified as a response to the flyers.

Basically, what we see here is the Sun either being duped by or actively colluding with the GPSA to change Skorton’s intentions with the op-ed in order to fit their own political views. Skorton was not defending Salaita, he was weakly condemning the flyers and the students who made them. Yet, readers of this article who are unaware of the flyers–because the Review, after all, only reaches a small portion of campus and the Sun certainly did nothing to report on them–will now go on believing this warped version of recent campus events.


Students Criticize University, Trustees with Chalked Slogans on Ho Plaza

Welcome back alumni and esteemed trustees of the university, for this weekend is Homecoming Weekend. As you tour the campus, reminiscing about the good times and the bad, make sure to stroll through Ho Plaza. A group of left-wing students, of whom only Daniel Marshall and Michael Mintz could be identified by name, spent the afternoon chalking various slogans and grievances against the university.

2014-10-17 15.25.53

Is metaphor the correct figure of speech here?

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Video Updates: Anti-Rape Culture Protest and Case for Reparations

It was recently brought to my attention that students on campus have accused the Review of refusing to publish our videos of various events. This just goes to show just how desperate some students on campus are to attack the Review, but rather than criticize our content instead choose to make ridiculous claims. It is neither our duty nor our obligation to publicly publish any written, audio, or video content any member of this publication produces.

Anyways, because we wish to share these with everyone, here you all are:

From Cornell’s protest against rape culture (language warning):

From the “Case for Reparations” speech:

Martha Robertson ’75 Loses National Democrat Funding–Cornell Daily Sun in Panic Mode?

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) recently cut its advertising funding for New York’s 23rd district Democratic candidate, Martha Robertson ’75. The ads would have aired in the final two weeks leading up to the election and were slated to cost $465,000.

This is a drastic setback among many others for Robertson, who just back in March was placed by the DCCC in the “Red to Blue” program. But all along the way, Robertson has clung to her cookie-cutter liberal platform, which seemingly doesn’t go over well outside of Ithaca in the mostly conservative, job-hungry, economically-depressed Southern Tier and Western New York.

Photo courtesy of Legal Insurrection.

Photo courtesy of Legal Insurrection.

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