Carolyn Maloney

Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

When I went on MSNBC yesterday, the thing I was intending to talk about (before getting interrupted by a pile of insurance industry BS) was the fact that members of Congress like Carolyn Maloney are wasting our time. When she announced that she would challenge Kirsten Gillibrand for the Senate, the Huffington Post reported:

The nine-term congresswoman believes New Yorkers need a "strong, experienced and independent leader," according to a statement Wednesday by Paul Blank, director of Trippi & Associates, hired by Maloney to serve as a chief strategist.

Independent? How about non-committal, indecisive and inconsistent?

People have been calling her office for over two weeks as part of the citizen whip count effort. Here are a few samples of what they have been told:

Michael L. no position Staffer unsure. Took my info (though didn’t seem confident I’d get a response) and transferred me to voicemail for Orly (possible sic) Isaacson.
Bryce S. no position I passed on to the aid the items I’d like Rep. Maloney to commit to (i.e. your three items), and he said he would pass it on to her.
Michael L. no position I spoke with Carolyn Maloney’s legislative assistant, Orly Isaacson. She tried the "we can’t comment on a hypothetical but she supports a public option" line. When I said that it is important to draw a line in the sand, she agreed and said that she did not know what the Congresswoman’s vote would be on a bill that does not include a public option.

She said she would get back to me with an answer, but I’m not holding my breath.

Chris B. no position An aide. She was very polite but as per her role, noncommittal and I explained the whip idea to her and the goal. She did mention that others had called to ask for the pledge.

NYCEve started calling her office, too, and got the staff blow-off that we’ve been facing since we started this. They don’t know, they’ll get back to us. Maloney is a member of the Progressive Caucus, who as a group said they would not vote for any bill that does not have a public plan. But when people call, she won’t confirm. Which means one of two things. Either she was full of shit when she signed on to this on June 24. . .

Leaders of four Democratic caucuses representing more than 120 members of Congress said Wednesday that they would vote against any health overhaul legislation that excludes a “robust” government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers.

The leaders of the black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific American and Progressive caucuses said at a news conference that they would consider a government-run plan to be robust if it resembles Medicare, the health entitlement for the elderly. The plan would have to be available to everyone in the country and could not be subject to a “trigger,” or some other mechanism that might delay its implementation, the lawmakers said.

. . . or she thinks the press, and not her constituents, deserve to know what she’s thinking.

Maloney seems to have a consistent problem sticking to her word. She signed a letter in 2007 saying she would vote for no war funding that did not contain troop withdrawal provisions, but she didn’t take that commitment too seriously when she voted for the supplemental without them.

When Maloney anouned a fundraiser with Bill Clinton on July 2, we said we’d be watching really closely to see who came out stronger on health care, Maloney or Gillibrand. Looks like Gillibrand doesn’t have much to compete with.

As people call the offices of these Congressional representatives, they are being told that we should be calling the Blue Dogs. Really? What are we going to tell the Blue Dogs if progressive members of Congress won’t even hold the line? These members of Congress are offended that people are calling them. And they are wasting our time, waffling, refusing to commit to uphold the principles they espouse. If they’d simply say what they intend to do, we could move on.

Democrats seem to think that we should just trust them, even after what happened with the disastrous climate change bill — where every Democrat not named Stark, DeFazio, or Kucinich took a bad vote or a worse vote. Well, we don’t. So, stop jacking people around, blathering about the fact that you want to see a bill before you commit. Boy, the Blue Dogs sure don’t need to see a bill before they draw a line in the sand, or those who want to gut reproductive rights funding, or Joe Lieberman.

No, the only people who won’t commit are those that have 76% of the country supporting them. I don’t know what’s wrong with these people, but maybe Carolyn Maloney knows.

Call her office and find out: 202.225.7944 DC, 212-860-0606 Manhattan, 718-932-1804 Queens.

Carolyn Maloney

Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

When I went on MSNBC yesterday, the thing I was intending to talk about (before getting interrupted by a pile of insurance industry BS) was the fact that members of Congress like Carolyn Maloney are wasting our time. When she announced that she would challenge Kirsten Gillibrand for the Senate, the Huffington Post reported:

The nine-term congresswoman believes New Yorkers need a "strong, experienced and independent leader," according to a statement Wednesday by Paul Blank, director of Trippi & Associates, hired by Maloney to serve as a chief strategist.

Independent? How about non-committal, indecisive and inconsistent?

People have been calling her office for over two weeks as part of the citizen whip count effort. Here are a few samples of what they have been told:

Michael L. no position Staffer unsure. Took my info (though didn’t seem confident I’d get a response) and transferred me to voicemail for Orly (possible sic) Isaacson.
Bryce S. no position I passed on to the aid the items I’d like Rep. Maloney to commit to (i.e. your three items), and he said he would pass it on to her.
Michael L. no position I spoke with Carolyn Maloney’s legislative assistant, Orly Isaacson. She tried the "we can’t comment on a hypothetical but she supports a public option" line. When I said that it is important to draw a line in the sand, she agreed and said that she did not know what the Congresswoman’s vote would be on a bill that does not include a public option.

She said she would get back to me with an answer, but I’m not holding my breath.

Chris B. no position An aide. She was very polite but as per her role, noncommittal and I explained the whip idea to her and the goal. She did mention that others had called to ask for the pledge.

NYCEve started calling her office, too, and got the staff blow-off that we’ve been facing since we started this. They don’t know, they’ll get back to us. Maloney is a member of the Progressive Caucus, who as a group said they would not vote for any bill that does not have a public plan. But when people call, she won’t confirm. Which means one of two things. Either she was full of shit when she signed on to this on June 24. . .

Leaders of four Democratic caucuses representing more than 120 members of Congress said Wednesday that they would vote against any health overhaul legislation that excludes a “robust” government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers.

The leaders of the black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific American and Progressive caucuses said at a news conference that they would consider a government-run plan to be robust if it resembles Medicare, the health entitlement for the elderly. The plan would have to be available to everyone in the country and could not be subject to a “trigger,” or some other mechanism that might delay its implementation, the lawmakers said.

. . . or she thinks the press, and not her constituents, deserve to know what she’s thinking.

Maloney seems to have a consistent problem sticking to her word. She signed a letter in 2007 saying she would vote for no war funding that did not contain troop withdrawal provisions, but she didn’t take that commitment too seriously when she voted for the supplemental without them.

When Maloney anouned a fundraiser with Bill Clinton on July 2, we said we’d be watching really closely to see who came out stronger on health care, Maloney or Gillibrand. Looks like Gillibrand doesn’t have much to compete with.

As people call the offices of these Congressional representatives, they are being told that we should be calling the Blue Dogs. Really? What are we going to tell the Blue Dogs if progressive members of Congress won’t even hold the line? These members of Congress are offended that people are calling them. And they are wasting our time, waffling, refusing to commit to uphold the principles they espouse. If they’d simply say what they intend to do, we could move on.

Democrats seem to think that we should just trust them, even after what happened with the disastrous climate change bill — where every Democrat not named Stark, DeFazio, or Kucinich took a bad vote or a worse vote. Well, we don’t. So, stop jacking people around, blathering about the fact that you want to see a bill before you commit. Boy, the Blue Dogs sure don’t need to see a bill before they draw a line in the sand, or those who want to gut reproductive rights funding, or Joe Lieberman.

No, the only people who won’t commit are those that have 76% of the country supporting them. I don’t know what’s wrong with these people, but maybe Carolyn Maloney knows.

Call her office and find out: 202.225.7944 DC, 212-860-0606 Manhattan, 718-932-1804 Queens.

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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