Congrats, Democrat Kathy Hochul! You just won one of the most conservative districts in upstate New York! She beat GOP contender Jane Corwin for the seat famously vacated by a randy representative who got his rocks off by sending a friend of mine cell phone camera pictures of himself, then ... later, started e-flirting with transsexual prostitutes. He also liked to party with lady lobbyists, making House Speaker John Boehner all frowny faced. But he stepped down and went into hiding before it got really ugly. Instead it was the GOP who took the heat as the Medicare debate killed their chances in a district that should have been a lock.
From The New York Times:
Two months ago, the Democrat, Kathy Hochul, was considered an all-but-certain loser in the race against the Republican, Jane Corwin. But Ms. Hochul seized on the Republican’s embrace of the proposal from Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, to overhaul Medicare, and she never let up.
On Tuesday, she captured 47 percent of the vote to Ms. Corwin’s 43 percent, according to unofficial results. A Tea Party candidate, Jack Davis, had 9 percent.
Voters, who turned out in strikingly large numbers for a special election, said they trusted Ms. Hochul, the county clerk of Erie County, to protect Medicare.
“I have almost always voted the party line,” said Gloria Bolender, a Republican from Clarence who is caring for her 80-year-old mother. “This is the second time in my life I’ve voted against my party.”
Pat Gillick, a Republican from East Amherst, who also cast a ballot for Ms. Hochul, said, “The privatization of Medicare scares me.”
The seat hopping drama all started when New York Rep. Chris Lee stepped down after efforts to cheat on his wife using Craigslist went public and turned into a sexless sex scandal with a cell phone shirtless pic and possible transsexual sex ad trolling. And when this happened a lot of Democrats joked privately and publicly that this was a time for the DNC to spring into action and snatch up a seat. But Lee was in a heavily Republican leaning district. It would take more than a sex scandal of one to ruin the chances for another Republican out of Albany. Yet due to Rep. Paul Ryan and the Republicans overly aggressive plan to turn Medicare into coupon vouchers in a world where medical costs are sky-rocketing and retirement is becoming a myth, what was once lost is now found. Guess health care reform is going to be the bane of BOTH parties.
One Georgia Republican even tried to convince his constituents that going personally bankrupt over medical care was preferable to depending on a government program that's existed since the Johnson Administration.
From Washington Monthly:
Rep. Rob Woodall, a Georgia Republican, made a vigorous ideological defense of ending Medicare as it currently exists, telling seniors at a local town hall that they ought not look to the government to provide health care for the elderly just because their private employer doesn’t offer health benefits for retirees.
A Woodall constituent raised a practical obstacle to obtaining coverage in the private market within the confines of an employer-based health insurance system: What happens when you retire?
“The private corporation that I retired from does not give medical benefits to retirees,” the woman told the congressman in video captured a local Patch reporter in Dacula, Ga.
“Hear yourself, ma’am. Hear yourself,” Woodall told the woman. “You want the government to take care of you, because your employer decided not to take care of you. My question is, ‘When do I decide I’m going to take care of me?’”
Wow. Didn't know I could make my employer do anything. Especially since the GOP is anti-Labor, hence wanting to strip me of my rights to publicly have a slap fight with my employer to argue for things like better wages, better benefits, better retirement plans and retirement medical care after I no longer work for them. My father has a pension. Most people DO NOT. The pension is a dinosaur most American companies ditched and turned into cheaper 401ks. Most Republicans were OVERWHELMINGLY FOR the right of US companies to ditch costly pensions and pass the health care and retirement costs back on the government. Now Woodall wants to convince people it's your own fault if you didn't save up enough money for medical care and retirement from companies who stripped their retirement and medical plans.
If your motto is "let the Free Market do it" and the Free Market doesn't because you have endorsed and advocated that worker's needs should be a drain on a corporate bottom line, BUT your response to the government stepping in -- the same government we pay taxes to for services -- is "Ugh, why do you want the government to take care of you?" what kind of con is this? Who is benefiting from no one ever paying to take care of the people who do the work and pay the taxes?
The con becomes even more apparent when you realize Rep. Woodall has no real, self-made health/retirement backup plan for himself outside of the one taxpayers provide him through the very government he thinks you shouldn't want to provide you medical coverage.
From Huffington Post:
William Robert Woodall III, who goes by "Rob," doesn't appear to have been referring literally to himself, but rather speaking figuratively. It's a good thing, because financial records show the 41-year-old congressman has done very little to take care of himself in his retirement. Woodall's 2009 financial disclosure forms, filed with the House of Representatives, show that his two largest IRAs have between $15,000 and $50,000 worth of assets, hardly the type of nest egg that would be able to cover the health care costs associated with aging absent government health care.
Woodall was chief of staff to former Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.), a job taxpayers shelled out more than $100,000 a year for in 2002, rising to more than $150,000 in 2009, plus gold-plated health and retirement benefits. Woodall, who has taken his former boss's seat, now makes $174,000 a year with generous benefits.
First go-round was the Democrats turn to feel the heat for a government plan. Now it's the GOP getting just desserts for wanting to touch the one thing all those old people screamed at Democrats NOT to touch.
Everyone hates the government until you need them for something. Like most people in the Great Recession, my sisters and I make barely enough money to take care of ourselves. We're pretty grateful our parents have their own health care plans through my father's retirement and Medicare. But what my parents have to fall back on will likely be very different -- if there at all -- for myself and others.