#NY26: Bellavia, Twitter & Murphy

29 Mar

David Bellavia appears to have disqualified himself from running for congress by failing to timely submit a form accepting his nomination from the “Federalist Party”. After all that, he’s off the ballot because he couldn’t follow the rules?

The problem for Bellavia is that he (a) either took a deal of some sort to remove himself from the ballot after all, or (b) can’t get it together to follow the rules. Either way, it’s not good. With that said, I think that the Election Law should be construed liberally (ironic, when discussing a conservative candidate), and that there should be a presumption in favor of including Bellavia on the ballot; he shouldn’t be disqualified for failing to file a form a day late. The rules, after all, are deliberately Byzantine to help keep people like him off the ballot.

I received a robocall yesterday from the execrable Jack Davis campaign, asking me to call his campaign with any ideas. Click here to listen to the call. He sounds all grandfatherly and sincere as he asks you to basically give him ideas about what his platform should be. Aside from hating on foreigners, that is.

Twitter has become a new sort of battleground for campaigns, and every candidate except the Green Party’s Ian Murphy is being parodied by a fake Twitter account. The fun started with fake Jack Davis


followed by fake Jane Corwin, (no Tweets yet), and topped off by fake Kathy Hochul


There’s even a fake Chris Collins for his countywide race.


Sometimes, fake Collins’ Tweets are given support by the guy jokingly referred to around the Rath Building as County Executive Loomis:


Finally, there’s been some buzz in the last day about Jane Corwin’s flip-flop on high speed rail for upstate. As an Albany pol, she liked the idea of high speed rail linking western New York with Albany, New York City, Boston, and Toronto. With gas prices rising and airports a hassle, now is a great time to examine the possibility of whizzing people around the Northeast with the speed and efficiency seen all throughout the rest of the industrialized world.

But when campaigning for Congress, it seems that good ideas fall by the wayside in favor of tea partyish nonsense, pretending that a big investment in infrastructure improvement doesn’t create private sector jobs and motivate the economy. The whole flip-flop reminded me of this three week-old post:

It was also revealed that Chris Collins appointee Chris Grant – who once upon a time did occasional guest-blogging stints for this very blog right here – took an unpaid leave to go work for the Corwin campaign. As I described in Chris Charvella’s comments section here, earlier this week Chris Grant engaged me on Twitter about an effort led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for New York to accept federal money for high speed rail that Florida has rejected. Grant replied that federal local reps should have competed for that money in the first place. I agreed, citing the fact that Mr. Christopher Lee probably could have worked harder for it too, were it not for his Craigslist preoccupation.

He then accused me of blaming the Republicans for everything, to which I responded – earnestly – that I thought Republicans were against EVERY PORTION of Obama’s StimuSocialismKenya plan, and that I was somewhat surprised (pleasantly) to see him advocate in favor of high speed rail funding for New York.

Grant’s Tweets on the subject then mysteriously disappeared. Would that I had taken a screencap. Because I think it’s significant for a candidate when her campaign manager is busy on Twitter arguing in favor of Obama’s stimulus plan and its application for high speed rail throughout New York State.

In the meantime, Ian Murphy has been mounting an unsurprisingly sarcastic and funny, but surprisingly substantive campaign talking about issues that will resonate with progressive types. He’s the only candidate who has brought up the fact that certain American corporations – profitable corporations that have seen billions of dollars in profits – make it their business to avoid paying a cent in taxes on that profit. We can talk all day about how our corporate tax rate should be like Ireland’s, but why would we do that? Politicians’ races are funded by these big corporations whose lobbyists ask for changes to laws that benefit them, and there’s no political will to change the status quo because everyone’s happy. Yet Bank of America – bailout recipient – made $4.4 billion in profit last year and will not pay a dime in taxes.  General Electric’s worldwide profit was $14.2 billion, $5.2 billion of which was from solely American business activity. GE won’t pay a dime in taxes, instead receiving a refund.  If you want to talk about reducing deficits and paying for important programs that provide medical care to those who need it, and improve our infrastructure, how about we start with changing the rules so that even corporations pay their fare share of taxes like you do?

So far, when it comes to talking about important issues, the advantage goes to the “joke” candidate, Ian Murphy of the Buffalo Beast.

16 Responses to “#NY26: Bellavia, Twitter & Murphy”

  1. Buffalo Blood Donor March 29, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    Just a clarification. With around 120,000 U.S. employees, GE pays upwards of $500 million in FICA/medicare taxes to the government. You can argue that 7.65% isn’t enough, but you shouldn’t try to drive home the point that big U.S. companies successfully avoid paying U.S. taxes. They don’t, so long as they employ workers in this country.


    • Alan Bedenko March 29, 2011 at 8:50 am #

      I wrote 200+ words to explain that certain big & profitable corporations don’t pay a dime in taxes on that profit. Those corporations pay FICA and medicare without regard to the existence or volume of any profit. Therefore, there’s nothing to clarify.

      Also, Reaganist supply-side nonsense has been proven again and again to be absolute BS. Deregulating leads to deliberate harm. Reducing the tax burden from millionaires and big business and laying the burden to fund the government instead on the backs of the working and middle class is the biggest sham ever perpetrated (again -word used deliberately) on the American people.

      If you want to get the economic engine working again, make sure there’s more money in the pockets of people who spend it depending on how much money is in their pockets. Bill Gates and David Koch will buy Gulfstream 6s whether their marginal tax rate is 40% or 30%. OTOH, Joe Schmoe’s ability to take his family to Disney or buy stuff is dependent on how big his nut is every week, and on April 15th.

      That Joe Schmoe has been duped into protecting the interests of the David Kochs of the world can only be thought of as a perverse form of the Stockholm Syndrome.

  2. peteherr March 29, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    @Buffalo Blood Donor – Corporate taxes and FICA are two very different and separate things. FICA funds very specific items and are paid for equally by the employees, whereas Corporate taxes pay for the highways that GE ships it’s goods on, and the Homeland Security that keeps their power generation interests safe, and all of the other “little” infrastructure diddies that make it possible for them to be in the Top 5 businesses in the world.

    But you knew that.

  3. peteherr March 29, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    I wouldn’t say that ALL Joe Schmoes are protecting the interests of the David Kochs of the of the world. Predominantly, just the Joe Schmoes with an (R) on their voter registration card.

  4. Mr. F.N. Magoo March 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    I got a mailer from Batshit Jack that asked my input on the issues. After reading the front, I turned it over to find a square that said, “Place stamp here”. So Guano Man clutters my mailbox with crap asking my opinions and then expects me to pay to send it back? Jack doesn’t need political advisers; he needs an outdoorsman to find him a real rathole to piss his money down instead of giving it to parasitic hacks.

  5. Jon Splett March 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    For all the talk that Murphy is a ‘joke’ candidate, we know where stands on nearly every issue.

    Go to Corwin or Hochul’s site and tell me how many issues they’ve made themselves clear on. (Spoiler alert: They decided flowery bios were more important than telling the people they want to represent where they stand)

  6. Mike In WNY March 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    The sooner we put all the high-speed-rail garbage to bed, the better. The only pretenders are the ones who tout this money-sucking silver bullet that will only succeed in increasing the debt, with its perpetual subsidies, paid by taxpayers. The earth will come to a cataclysmic end before high speed rail can support itself.

  7. Hapklein March 29, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    I think the big news is the huge Republican dynamic the Corwin campaign reveals. That’s a lot of good people and a lot of local and national money pouring into that shallow vessel. somebody see something we don’t.
    Could Davis siphon off enough votes to give an underfunded campaign in a very safe District a chance? I doubt it unless it is perceived that Hochul does have demonstrated ability in the public sphere.
    I really think Corwin is virtually two dimensional in every respect and weak in any job creation ability. Her main family company is a Call Center in Hamilton.

  8. Brian Castner March 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    The problem with the “GE doesn’t pay a dime of taxes”meme is that is never asks why. It simply makes a blatant statement of how obviously wrong it is. I have a feeling many of those complaining that GE doesn’t pay taxes are also generally favorable towards the government investing in green energy, renewables, the federal stimulus program and research and development. In this case, one largely caused the other.

  9. Ian Murphy March 29, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    Not a bad point…to a point. If a company makes $14.2 billion, $5.1 billion domestically, they should pay taxes. R&D for green energy is great, but does that negate the tax responsibility of the largest corporation in the world? I don’t think so. And there’s 5.1 billion reasons why.

  10. Ian Murphy March 29, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    Ha, Brain. derp.

  11. Brian Castner March 29, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    GE makes $5B in profit, so how much tax should they pay? $1B? $2B? $3B? All are only a piece of the $40B in incentives in just one sector, green energy, in the last Stimulus Bill alone. Investing $40B in green energy sounds good until you realize its going to go to a couple evil large corporations that are in that business. If you give GE several billion in incentives, and they only have $2B in taxes, then yes, it does negate their tax responsibility. By simple arithmetic.

  12. Hapklein March 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    The article reported 150 American Companies in the Fortune 500 don’t pay any taxes. 

    Don’t look to GE to grovel in shame. If Congress ever decides to do something effective tell them to correct this.

    Or wait for the 150 companies to feel guilty and volunteer to pay.

  13. Jackson Smiles March 30, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    I got the same call from Jack… I called his office and suggested he just roll over and die from eating too much soup. His campaign manager then asked if I’d like a happy ending with that comment and offered to pull a “Chris Lee” if I’d be willing to sign up for a craigslist account.

  14. Jackson Smiles March 30, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    And Grant will believe whatever his paycheck tells him to believe…


  1. NY 26 Special Election Links 03/29/2011 (p.m.) | GLOW Democrats - March 29, 2011

    […] #NY26: Bellavia, Twitter & Murphy « WNYMedia.net […]

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