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2010 House Elections

Old 03-04-10, 12:48 AM
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2010 House Elections

Rep. Eric Massa is not running for re-election. He cites health problems, but he's been accused of sexually harassing a male staffer.

First-term Rep. Eric Massa announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election, saying his doctors have told him that he can’t continue to “run at 100 miles an hour.”

But several House aides told POLITICO that the House ethics committee has been informed of allegations that the New York Democrat, who is married with two children, sexually harassed a male staffer.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) subsequently confirmed Wednesday that the Democratic leadership had been informed of the allegations before the news broke.

"I’ve heard of that allegation before," he said. "I had some indication, yes, but I don’t want to go beyond that. And my presumption (is) it's being pursued in the course of business."

Massa told POLITICO early Wednesday afternoon that no one has brought allegations of misconduct to him.

Asked specifically about the sexual harassment allegations, he said: "When someone makes a decision to leave Congress, everybody says everything. I have health issues. I'll talk about it [later].”

Massa has suffered from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. On a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, he said he was hospitalized in December and that his doctors made it clear to him that he needed to slow down. He denied that he was retiring because of a sexual harassment claim.

"Do I or have I ever used salty language when I’m angry, especially in the privacy of my inner office or even at home? Yes, I have, and I have apologized to those where it's appropriate," Massa said. "But those kinds of articles, unsubstantiated without fact or backing, are a symptom of what's wrong with this city."

A 20-year Navy veteran, Massa serves on the Agriculture, Armed Services and Homeland Security committees. His departure endangers Democrats’ hold on his competitive upstate New York seat.

Hoyer said news of the sexual harassment allegation – coming on the same day Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) gave up his gavel at the Ways and Means Committee – shouldn’t give Republicans a leg up in November.
“I don’t think it helps anybody in the institution, any one of us on either side of the aisle. It certainly didn’t help Mr. Foley,” Hoyer said, referring to former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who resigned from Congress in 2006 amid allegations that he sent sexually explicit IM messages to an underage male page.

“When there were allegations about Mr. Foley or others, I think the institution suffers,” Hoyer continued. “And that’s why it’s so important that each of us conducts ourselves in a way that won't bring discredit on the institution."

Massa’s decision came as a complete surprise to several of his freshman Democratic colleagues in the New York delegation. According to the New York Daily News, which first reported that Massa was retiring, the congressman called party leaders and supporters in his district Wednesday to tell them of his plans.

Massa has played a gadfly-like role in the House, calling for a single-payer health care system at a conference of liberal activists last year despite representing a Republican-leaning district. He was one of 39 House Democrats to vote against health care legislation; he said it didn’t do enough to control costs.

As a freshman representing New York’s most Republican House district, Massa was one of the most endangered Democrats in the delegation. Republicans had been aggressively targeting his seat and landed top recruit Tom Reed, the Republican mayor of Corning, to challenge him.

Massa is now the 15th House Democrat to announce retirement plans, with 11 of them leaving districts that Republicans are aggressively contesting. House Republicans face 19 retirements within GOP ranks, but most of their departing members hail from safe seats.

Massa’s departure also adds to the woes of New York Democrats, who have been on the defensive this week amid a scandal surrounding Gov. David Paterson, who announced he wasn’t running for election, and the tribulations involving Rangel.

Massa’s departure could scramble the Republican field since the filing deadline is not until July. Potential candidates include: Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, state Assemblyman Brian Kolb and state Senator Kathy Young.

Massa defeated former GOP Rep. John “Randy” Kuhl (R-N.Y.) in 2008 by a two-point margin.

Jonathan Allen contributed to this report.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/33864.html
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Old 03-04-10, 08:31 AM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Two Georgia GOP members aren't running again - Linder and Deal. Deal actually announced his resignation to concentrate on his run for Governor. Conveniently, resigning means the House will stop its investigation into some of his business dealings.
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Old 03-04-10, 08:39 AM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Maybe the justice department will 'consider' some of his business dealings.

Doesn't Linder live in Mississippi?

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Old 03-04-10, 08:48 AM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Don't think so. I think he lives somewhere in Gwinnett County.

Trivia note: Linder made a cameo appearance on a public access tv show my friends and I used to make in high school
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Old 03-04-10, 09:18 AM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

I looked it up. He owns a farm in MS. I knew there was something about MS and Linder.
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Old 03-05-10, 04:34 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Looks like a former Justice Thomas law clerk is running for the GOP nom for my district (VA-8). Judging by his issue points on his website, sounds libertarianish. And he's gay too - how about that....a gay Republican.

Of course, no matter which Republican wins, he'll get trounced by Jim Moron in the general, who the idiots in my district would keep sending back to Congress even if he was dead.

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Old 03-05-10, 05:03 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

A new open seat...

Rep. Eric Massa to resign

Democratic Rep. Eric Massa will resign from Congress on Monday, only days after reports first surfaced that the freshman New York lawmaker was under investigation by the House ethics committee for allegedly sexually harassing a male staffer.

Massa was preparing the news in the Corning Leader, his local newspaper, but several media outlets were already reporting the news Friday afternoon.

In a statement released Friday, Massa directly addressed the ethics issue for the first time, acknowledging that he used language that might have made staffers uncomfortable. But he did not specifically address any specific sexual harassment allegations.

“I own this reality. There is no doubt in my mind that I did in fact, use language in the privacy of my own home and in my inner office that, after 24 years in the Navy, might make a Chief Petty Officer feel uncomfortable,” Massa said. “In fact, there is no doubt that this Ethics issue is my fault and mine alone. But in the incredibly toxic atmosphere that is Washington D.C., with the destruction of our elected leaders having become a blood sport, especially in talk radio and on the internet, there is also no doubt that an Ethics investigation would tear my family and my staff apart.”

Massa, who was elected in November 2008, announced earlier in the week that he would not be seeking a second term following a cancer scare in December.

He initially dismissed as “unsubstantiated” a POLITICO report that he was being scrutinized for improper advances to a junior aide in his office. In fact, he mentioned this report in his resignation statement Friday afternoon.

“At no point prior to this had any member of the Ethics Committee communicated with me directly - if fact I first read it on the internet,” Massa said.

The ethics committee formally announced on Thursday night that Massa was under investigation by the panel, although Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), the chairwoman and ranking member of the committee, did not announce the reason for their probe.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) also publicly acknowledged that his staff had told a former Massa aide that he should report the Massa harassment allegation to the ethics committee or else Hoyer would take it to the ethics panel himself. Ronald Hikel, Massa’s former deputy chief of staff and legislative director, was then interviewed twice by ethics committee investigators.

Massa’s assertion that he did not learn that he was under investigation by the ethics committee until after making his retirement announcement appears to contradict the facts of the case.

Joe Racalto, Massa’s chief of staff, told a Rochester TV station on Thursday that he was interviewed by ethics committee investigators several weeks ago in regards to the sexual harassment allegations against Massa, well before the case became a public scandal or Massa announced his intentions to leave the House.

“Racalto [Massa's Chief of Staff] also said that he was interviewed by the Ethics Committee about two and a half weeks ago ‘about this matter, but he said he couldn't discuss that in further detail,” said a blog post by a WHAM-TV reporter on Thursday night.

Several other Massa aides also meet with the ethics committee prior to this week, a former Massa staff and House insiders said.

Ronald Hikel, Massa’s former deputy chief of staff and legislative director, went to Hoyer’s office on Feb. 8 with an allegation that Massa had harassed a junior male staffer in the New York Democrats personal office.

Hikel was told by Hoyer’s staff that he should report the allegation to the ethics committee himself or Hoyer would. Hikel did as told by Hoyer’s staff, and he was twice interviewed by panel staffers, Hikel confirmed.

Hoyer's office released a statement on Wednesday confirming Hikel's account.

Massa’s resignation is another blow to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top Democratic leaders. Democrats won control of the House in 2006 on a vow to clean up the “culture of corruption” on Capitol Hill.

However, Rep. Charlie Rangel, the longtime Democratic lawmaker from Harlem, was forced out of his post as chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee earlier this week following a public “admonishment” by the ethics committee for taking corporate-funded trips to the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008.

The ethics committee is continuing a broader investigation into Rangel’s personal finances.

And two other Democrats lawmakers – Reps. Maxine Waters (Calif.) and Laura Richardson (Calif.) – remain under investigation as well.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/34001.html
http://massa.house.gov/
Maybe Caroline Kennedy can start at the bottom and work up to the Senate.
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Old 03-05-10, 06:41 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
And he's gay too - how about that....a gay Republican.
There are plenty of gay Republicans, there are just very few openly gay Republicans.
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Old 03-06-10, 02:51 AM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
Looks like a former Justice Thomas law clerk is running for the GOP nom for my district (VA-8). Judging by his issue points on his website, sounds libertarianish. And he's gay too - how about that....a gay Republican.

Of course, no matter which Republican wins, he'll get trounced by Jim Moron in the general, who the idiots in my district would keep sending back to Congress even if he was dead.
Moran is awful. Makes me proud to live westerly enough to be represented by Frank Wolf.
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Old 03-06-10, 03:31 AM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
Of course, no matter which Republican wins, he'll get trounced by Jim Moron in the general, who the idiots in my district would keep sending back to Congress even if he was dead.
If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were living in Seattle (aka WA-7).
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Old 03-06-10, 08:43 AM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Talked to a friend of mine - he knew the guy when he attended Dartmouth in the early 90s. He said he was a complete dork, and still in the closet.
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Old 03-06-10, 09:11 AM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
Looks like a former Justice Thomas law clerk is running for the GOP nom for my district (VA-8). Judging by his issue points on his website, sounds libertarianish. And he's gay too - how about that....a gay Republican.

Of course, no matter which Republican wins, he'll get trounced by Jim Moron in the general, who the idiots in my district would keep sending back to Congress even if he was dead.
"only 38% of likely voters in Virginia’s Eighth District believe that Jim Moran deserves to be re-elected" (link)
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Old 03-06-10, 09:36 AM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
"only 38% of likely voters in Virginia’s Eighth District believe that Jim Moran deserves to be re-elected" (link)
Um yeah. I'll believe it when I see it.

That is why only 38% of likely voters in Virginia’s Eighth District believe that Jim Moran deserves to be re-elected and why I am within in the margin of error against Jim Moran in an informed head-to-head.
Key word: informed.
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Old 03-08-10, 01:49 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Massa's firing back:

Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) told a New York radio station Sunday that an ethics investigation into his behavior focused on sexually-charged comments he made to an aide at a New Year’s Eve celebration, but claimed he was unaware of an ethics committee investigation into the incident until after he had announced his retirement last week.

Massa said he had believed the committee was investigating an unrelated fundraising letter, and suggested that the ethics dust-up may have been orchestrated by Democratic leaders to get him out of office before the health care vote.

In an audio recording of Massa’s weekly radio show on New York station WKPQ Power 105 FM, made available via the Web site of local station 13 WHAM-TV, the New York lawmaker detailed the incident that he says is the center of the ethics inquiry.

“On New Year’s Eve, I went to a staff party. It was actually a wedding for a staff member of mine; there were over 250 people there. I was with my wife. And in fact we had a great time. She got the stomach flu,” he said.

Massa explained that he then danced first with the bride, who was not identified, and then with a bridesmaid. He said multiple cameras recorded the incident.

“I said goodnight to the bridesmaid,” Massa continued. “I sat down at the table where my whole staff was, all of them by the way bachelors.”

“One of them looked at me and as they would do after, I don’t know, 15 gin and tonics, and goodness only knows how many bottles of champagne, a staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid and his points were clear and his words were far more colorful than that,” Massa said. “And I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, ‘Well, what I really ought to be doing is fracking you.’ And then [I] tossled the guy’s hair and left, went to my room, because I knew the party was getting to a point where it wasn’t right for me to be there. Now was that inappropriate of me? Absolutely. Am I guilty? Yes.”

But Massa said that the staff member whom he made the comments to “never said to me that he felt uncomfortable,” and charged that incident was raised by another aide who had witnessed the incident.


“It was a third-party political correctness statement,” Massa said. Massa’s former deputy chief of staff, Ron Hikel, has been identified in media reports as the source of the ethics complaint.

In the radio show, Massa also accused Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) of lying about the timeline of the investigation.

In a statement released Wednesday, Hoyer’s office said the Maryland lawmaker was alerted to the allegations against Massa in early February by his staff. The statement said Hoyer gave Massa or his office 48 hours to report the complaint to the ethics panel or threatened to do so himself.

“Steny Hoyer has never said a single word to me, at all, ever, not once. Not a word. This is a lie. It’s a blatant, false statement,” Massa said.

Hoyer spokeswoman Katie Grant responded to Massa's radio show early Monday morning, stating: “That's completely false. There is zero merit to that accusation.”

Massa also suggested that Democratic leaders are using the ethics committee to get him out of office before the vote on health care because he voted against the House health care bill last fall.

Massa said, "Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill and this administration and this House leadership have said, quote-unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill, and now they’ve gotten rid of me and it will pass. You connect the dots."

The New York lawmaker said his chief of staff informed him in early February that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, also known as the ethics committee, had begun an inquiry and would interview each of his aides, but he did not know the substance of the investigation.

“It’s not a like a normal court, you don’t get to know who your accuser is. You don’t get to know what you’re being accused of. Anyone can accuse you of anything. The trade-off for that is this is all suppose to be incredibly secret until of such time there are findings of fact,” he said.

Massa said he assumed the inquiry focused on an unrelated fundraising violation.

“There was another ethics violation, because someone released a letter under my name for fundraising,” he said.

On the radio show, Massa said he has yet to be contacted by the ethics panel.

“I still haven’t heard anything officially from any Member of the ethics committee,” he added, while re-reading the statement he released Friday announcing his resignation, which is scheduled for Monday.

The House ethics committee confirmed Thursday that it is investigating unspecified allegations against Massa.


Massa surprised political observers when he announced on Wednesday that he would not run for re-election in November. He cited a recurrence of cancer as the reason for his decision.
http://www.rollcall.com/news/43920-1...065a:&st=email

He also stated that Rahm Emanuel is behind it.

Video here: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/vid...for_votes.html

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Old 03-08-10, 02:10 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

A paranoid nutcase says what?

Rep. Massa will be doing the full hour on Glenn Beck's show tomorrow. Set your DVRs!
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Old 03-08-10, 02:10 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Did he actually use the word Fracking? Because that would be both great and horrible at the same time.
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Old 03-08-10, 02:24 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
A paranoid nutcase says what?

Rep. Massa will be doing the full hour on Glenn Beck's show tomorrow. Set your DVRs!
Do you assume he's lying?

Don't you think worse things have been done in politics?
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Old 03-08-10, 02:37 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
Do you assume he's lying?

Don't you think worse things have been done in politics?
Except for the he-said-he-said with Rep. Hoyer, it's not a question of whether he's lying. It's the strained logic of going from being pressured to resign when you've admitted to sexually harassing your staff to it all being a secret plot because you're the one and only person who can stop the Democrats' health care reform proposals.

But I will have to remember the "worse things have been done in politics" excuse next time I want cover for my wild theories.
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Old 03-08-10, 02:48 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

I can see his being made an example of for not voting for healthcare. How long did much more serious ethics abuses by Charlie Rangel take to merely get him to take a leave of absence from his chairmanship? Way longer than Massa was even a congressman.
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Old 03-08-10, 03:04 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

JasonF,

You don't seem to be nearly as critical with Charlie Rangel as you are with Massa.

May I ask why?
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Old 03-08-10, 04:20 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Classicman -- When Charlie Rangel comes out with paranoid theories as to why his alleged ethical violations are having repurcussions on his career, I will be just as critical of him as I am of Rep. Massa.

X, I have no doubt that Rep. Massa's relative unreliability as a vote for the Democrats impacted their willingness to go to the mat for him. That's a far cry from saying he was pushed out because he was going to stop health care reform.
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Old 03-08-10, 04:30 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

When Massa blames it on his staff...............................

Consistency - try it sometimes. You might like it.

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Old 03-08-10, 04:49 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
X, I have no doubt that Rep. Massa's relative unreliability as a vote for the Democrats impacted their willingness to go to the mat for him. That's a far cry from saying he was pushed out because he was going to stop health care reform.
"Go to the mat for him" means just drawing out a House ethics investigation? I thought that was the norm, like with William Jefferson.
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Old 03-08-10, 05:03 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

Massagate is going to be awesome.

Any truth to the rumor that Obama (not a former slave*) wanted him out just because he had a problem calling somebody Massa?


*in case you were wondering
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Old 03-08-10, 05:37 PM
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Re: 2010 House Elections

If you don't like Battlestar Galactica, then you're an idiot.
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