Skip to comments.Eric Massa (D-NY) to Resign
Posted on 03/05/2010 12:38:10 PM PST by Former Military Chick
New York Democratic Rep. Eric Massa will resign from the House on Monday, according Massa chief of staff Joe Racalto. While its the latest in a string of bad PR the Democrats have taken this week, Massas exit will actually help House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her quest to pass health care.
Massa announced earlier in the week that he would retire due to health issues. Shortly after his announcement, allegations of sexual harassment surfaced in the press.
Few congressional elections draw the kind of national attention that Erica Massas did in 2006. Even fewer draw an equal amount of attention when a candidate runs again after a failed first attempt, as Massa did in 2008. Now the 51-year-old representative from New Yorks 29th District is the center of attention again, this time for announcing his retirement just as allegations surfaced that Massa sexually harassed a male staffer.
Four years ago, Massa was a cherished underdog. In a 2006 article titled, They served, and now theyre running, the New York Times profiled a handful of anti-war Democratic veterans who were running for Congress. While the Times played up his military credentials 24 years in the Navy, including stints working under Gen. Wesley Clark Massa argued that there had been a fundamental change in the paradigm of politics since the start of the Iraq War. Veterans like him could publicly oppose the reasons for going to war and still succeed politically, whereas John Kerrys opposition to the Vietnam war sunk his presidential campaign decades later.
Even though opposition to the Iraq War was Massas top issue in 2006, progressives saw him as overly conservative, citing his opposition to new gun control laws and the fact that he was formerly a Republican. Anti-war sentiments were strong enough on the left, however, that Massa raised more than $377,000 online from far-left donors despite their reservations.
Massas conservative cred served him well, too, and the race looked close closer still when Republican candidate Randy Kuhls ex-wife alleged that Kuhl had pulled a shotgun on her not once, but twice.
The 29th was still too conservative for Massa, who lost to a pro-war Kuhl with only 49 percent of the vote.
Following his loss, Massa told Esquire that he was cleaning out his garage when he his family told him that he had to run again. Massa was broke and exhausted, but his memory of the founders, he said, buoyed his spirits.
Look, half the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were either in debt or bankrupt, he told Esquire. The remaining half, most of them lost all their possessions. The only reason Monticello didnt get burned to the ground was that the British patrol missed the road. In South Carolina, among the Revolutionary leaders, all of them were either hung, had their houses burned, or their family slaughtered. You scratch your head and say, They were fighting for the same things Im fighting for, and all Ive got to give is credit-card debt?
In an effort to round out his platform in a congressional district that would ultimately go to McCain, Massa added health care to his list of concerns. His own bout with cancer in the late 1990s became one of his stump subjects.
At my last physical, Massa told Esquire, the doctor said, Doing this again could kill you. And I said and this is true, hand to God My not running for Congress could result in hundreds of soldiers getting killed. So you tell me where the risk balance is. This country is in danger of losing the United States of America in one generation. So its not, Will you run again? its, How could I not?
Such rhetoric served Massa well, and his star continued to rise until March of 2008, when it seemed his campaign would be derailed by Eliot Spitzers scandalous resignation as governor of New York. According to the Washington Post, Massa had accepted campaign funds from Spitzer, and returned the cash but only after the NRCC circulated three freeze-frame photos of Massa and Spitzer together, taken from one of Massas own campaign ads, which featured the words trust, integrity and respect.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/03/04/a-brief-history-of-eric-massas-short-congressional-career/#ixzz0hKvi8Cky
The rest of the story ...
Despite the Spitzer taint, Massa won the 29th from Kuhl by the same margin hed lost it two years earlier, with 51 percent of the vote. Massa attributed Kuhls loss to his support for President Bush, and referenced a picture of Randy [Kuhl] and the president in the back of the limousine that tells the story of how disconnected [Kuhl] had become from voters.
Once seated, Massa quickly proved he was further to the left than anyone anticipated, particularly with regard to public health. When swine flu began to sweep across the U.S. in April 2009, Massa called for draconian measures to contain the disease. The public needs to be aware of the serious threat of swine flu, and we need to close our borders to Mexico immediately and completely until this is resolved, Massa told the Washington Times.
The following November, Newsday reported that Massa was one of several New York representatives to sign a letter asking federal officials to investigate how Wall Street firms ended up with scarce vaccine for the potentially deadly H1N1 flu.
The letter drew attention specifically to vaccinations administered to employees of Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, and was sent even after Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control testified during a Senate hearing that New York hospitals, doctors, schools and health departments had received their shipments of the vaccine first.
Also in April of 2009, Massa renewed his commitment to passing health-care reform and the public option, telling an audience at the Netroots Nation Convention, I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district, adding I will vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them. New York GOP operatives created video based on Massas remarks, which were caught on camera, and distributed the video titled Democrats Think Youre Stupid to New York news agencies.
Since then, Massa has stayed true to his word, joining a very short list of representatives who voted against the November House health-care bill, arguing that it would enshrine in law the monopolistic powers of the private health insurance industry.
Several times during the last year and a half Massa broke ranks with fellow Democrats. He voted against rebuking Republican Rep. Joe Wilson after Wilson interrupted a speech by President Obama. Massa also refused to chastise Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel in late 2009 when House Democrats first began distancing themselves from the ethically challenged New Yorker.
The only reason Massa has given for his resignation is a resurgence of cancer, which he first contracted while still in the Navy in 1998. According to the New York Times, Mr. Massa apparently did not inform party leaders of his plans, and left them racing to find a candidate to replace him.
One less vote for 0bamacare. If he does quit, then thank God indeed.
What a coinky-dink!
News of his "sexual harassment" charges found their way into the press a day after he announced that he wouldn't vote for the Senate version of the healthcare bill.
The fact that he wouldn't vote for it because it wasn't leftwing enough is irrelevant. He wasn't obeying orders.
....and another one bites the dust!
He voted NO, the last go-around. The scandal leak was deliberate.
According to the MSM, EVERYTHING helps pass healthcare. Rangle included.
when the cockroaches start jumping overboard you know the boat is sinking fast.
At least he didn’t throw any stones...
A successor is appointed by Paterson or special election???
“NY - THE SELECTED, NOT ELECTED STATE!”
I’m pretty sure he voted No — I should check. It could be that he wanted the public option on the first vote and planned to vote Yes this time anyway.
Shrug. I just presume them all guilty. :)
These politicians really are stupid aren’t they?
In this day and age of every cell phone having a camera, you tube and blogs they think they can keep secrets?????
Excatly right. The MSM can spin this a positive for Pelosi all they want, but this just adds to the sense that the Democrats are sinking, and fast - that perception amongst the members of her own caucus will doom Obamacare.
Here's how I see it - if you're a Dem who walked the plank for Nancy in the first vote, and you know your constituents are mad about it, and you expect to be in the minority in the fall if you survive, anyway - well then, why not improve your chances of reelection and vote no?