Rep. Dan Maffei (D-NY) has been conspicuously absent on the campaign trail this year. Judging by his actions, or lack thereof, you wouldn’t even know it’s an election year. He refused to sit down and answer questions at a candidate forum with his Republican challenger John Katko. The liberal Syracuse New Times was not happy about it.
The behavior of Rep. Dan Maffei is not acceptable.
Maybe his campaign managers think the wise course is to avoid appearing side-by-side with the challenger, John Katko; that the wise course is to avoid facing follow-up questions if Maffei isn’t responsive; that the wise course for an incumbent is to maintain control the message and the environment.
There’s no mystery about what’s going on. Everybody knows that conventional wisdom tells professional politicians that the way to stay in office is to avoid any situation in which they risk putting their foot in it, or in which they might say something – even if they’re just being honest – that strays from the party dogma.
Maybe that goal – to stay in office – is shaping his approach.
But that isn’t our goal. And if Maffei chooses that path, the New Times will spend most of the autumn telling its readers why Maffei no longer deserves to be a member of Congress. (Read More)
Last month Maffei found a few minutes to deliver a speech on the House floor griping about the Republican budget. He didn’t mention that he has voted “no” on every budget, even budgets sponsored by his own party. Katko pointed that out in a press release this morning.
“In Dan Maffei’s two years in Congress, he has refused to support a single budget proposal, including those generated by Republicans and those constructed by Democrats,” said Katko. “How can federal spending be controlled, the national debt slashed or our growing deficit reduced without the support of a federal budget plan, any plan? Unfortunately, Dan Maffei’s plan is to take no plan and then hope his constituents won’t notice.”
In 2013, Maffei voted “NAY” on Federal FY 2014 budget-related Roll Call votes 83-88, including the Democrat substitute sponsored by Budget Committee Ranking Member Rep. Chris Van Hollen.[i] In 2014, Maffei voted “NAY” on Federal FY 2015 budget-related Roll Call votes 171-177, including the Democrat substitute sponsored by Budget Committee Ranking Member Rep. Chris Van Hollen.[ii]
In total, Maffei voted “NAY” on thirteen individual budget votes over two years, failing to approve a single budget plan to prioritize federal spending and identify possible cuts. In doing so, Maffei effectively refuses to say how government should be funded or to develop a plan to attack the mounting national debt.
Katko went to call Maffei’s budget dodge a “dereliction of duty.” I don’t think Maffei understands the meaning of the word duty, at least when it comes to answering to his constituents. I think Maffei’s first and only duty is to himself, and trying to retain his office. How else will he pay the mortgage on that $700,000 house he bought in the tony suburb of Alexandria, VA? He thinks he can just use the campaign cash he’s amassed to buy the election.