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LETTER: There are major differences between Reed and Shinagawa

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Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012 11:00 am

To the Editor:

After reading the article in the Finger Lakes Times (Sept. 30) on Republican Congressional candidate Tom Reed, I would like to say a few things  about the differences between Reed and his opponent, Nate Shinagawa.

I met Shinagawa recently in Geneva, and was impressed with his knowledge, energy and sincerity. Shinagawa supports women’s rights over their own bodies. Reed voted to cut Title X funds that provide affordable health care to women and families in our area. He voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act 33 times, and plans to do so again. Reed was part of the Congressional Republican opposition to all of the President’s initiatives.

Shinagawa is an administrator for a non-profit health care system known for high-quality care and low costs. Shinagawa wants to expand Medicare coverage while Reed wants to turn it into a voucher program. What happens when vouchers lose value? Reed wants to shift the costs to seniors.  We all pay for Medicare and for Social Security, and both are under siege by the Republican Congress, including Tom Reed. In 2010, Reed was endorsed by the Tea Party Express, though now he keeps his distance. Reed voted for the Ryan Budget, which assumes that tax cuts for the rich will “trickle down” to us.  We had eight years of that with George W. Bush, and he left us with the biggest financial disaster in U.S. history. Moreover, the middle and working classes would pay for those tax cuts!

Reed is co-chairman of the Marcellus Shale Caucus, favors fracking, and has received money from the oil and gas industry for his support. Shinagawa opposes fracking, and wants to protect our environment.

Reed voted for a 20 percent tax break for companies that ship American jobs overseas! He also voted against public works projects employees receiving the prevailing wage in their area. Shinagawa respects workers’ rights and believes they deserve a decent living wage and is endorsed by the AFL-CIO, SEIU, NYSUT, UAW and the New York Working Families Party.

Shinagawa worked as a Tompkins County legislator for six years, chaired major committees, negotiated bipartisan budgets, and worked toward inclusive and efficient government.  Reed joined his fellow Republicans to block every possible bill in Congress in order to stop Obama from being re-elected. Whatever party you belong to, we cannot risk another two years of a GOP Congress that wants to cut Medicare, end health care reform, fool with Social Security, and take away women’s rights over their own bodies.

PATRICIA MATHEWS

Geneva

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