Last Monday, after hearing from over 1200 of his constituents, Congressman Kuhl voted "no" on the original version of the bailout plan, stating, "I cannot ask my constituents, who have worked so hard to keep up their obligations on their homes, cars, and college loans for their children to foot the bill for irresponsible lenders and borrowers."
I thought Mr. Kuhl had finally stood up to the corporate special interests. It didn't last long.
Four days later, after what Politico Magazine called "an unprecedented lobbying blitz" from the corporate community, Mr. Kuhl had a change of heart and voted yes for an $850 billion bailout bill (Business lobbying hard for bailout, 10-2-2008). Not surprising, since he has taken over $1 million from corporate special interests, and nearly a quarter million of that from financial institutions and insurance companies on Wall Street. When the interests of Kuhl's constituents interfere with the interests of his lobbyist backers, the lobbyists win every time.
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Did the new version of the bill that Rep. Kuhl flip-flopped on offer the protection to taxpayers that he insisted on seeing? No. So what was the difference between the $700 billion bailout and the $850 billion bailout? Regrettably, $150 billion in additional pork-barrel "sweeteners" to bring wayward members back into the flock. Welcome back Randy.
Kuhl's self serving flip-flop vote on the bailout is just another example of why we need new leadership in Washington.
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But it gets better (or worse if you are a regular taxpayer)...
When it became apparent that the collapse of the banking industry was immanent, Congressman Kuhl acted quickly... to save his own bank account. On Thursday, the New York Post reported that "...Kuhl decided to break up his campaign's bank account into several smaller accounts in different banks, to guard against a bank failure." While the voters in the district and the nation looked to Congress for answers, Mr. Kuhl was looking out for himself.
We need a Congressman who's first thought will be to protect the bank accounts of the people he's elected to serve—rather than Mr. Kuhl, who's priority was to protect his own bank account.
I do not take money from corporate interests and I will not be bought off by lobbyists. This is a stand that I have always taken, but in order to fight my corporate-funded opponent, I need your help now. With only 29 days until the Election, your support is more critical now than ever.
It is only with the help of thousands of grass roots supporters like you that we can take on the corporate special interests and make real change in Washington.
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Thank you, and know that I will spend every minute of the next 29 days working hard to honor the trust and support that you have placed in me.
Commander US Navy (ret.)
Congressional Candidate, NY-29