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Would You Vote for Ian Murphy?

by: DocJess

Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 06:00:00 AM EDT

OK, you think you've never heard of Ian Murphy, but you likely remember that someone pretended to be one of the Koch brothers, called Scott Murphy, and got him to admit to his ulterior motives in the Wisconsin collective bargaining imbroglio. Yup. Ian Murphy. In a wickedly funny twist of fate, Ian lives in the district that used to belong to Chris Lee. Him, you remember: Rabid "family values" guy, sent a shirtless picture of himself to a woman (emails here) and resigned before, he hoped (in vain), people would find out he was also trolling the transsexual section of Cragslist. As I often say, you can't make this stuff up.

From his website, this is how Murphy describes himself and why he's running:

I’m an art school dropout who’s done some drifting both geographically and career-wise. I’ve worked as a landscaper, cashier, shopping cart pusher, butcher’s assistant, janitor, cow-milker, milkshake engineer, building manager, drywall installer, plumber, carpenter, painter, illustrator, door-to-door salesman, dish washer, paperboy, paperman, and some other illustrious gigs.

The narrative is bound to be that I’m not qualified to serve in Congress. B******t. I’m a blue-collar guy from Buffalo. I have common sense and authenticity on my side. I’m a real guy who won’t sell you out for a quick buck. And I’ll fight like a cornered wolverine to make the voice of the people heard.

Well, that’s about it. I’m a simple guy who just wants to ensure that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from NY-26.

Platform? He wants to stop stuff like this:

I’m fed up with Democrat and Republican lies. One of those lies? That it’s time America had an “adult conversation” about our budget and the deficit. The conversation goes like this: Our country’s broke and we, the people, have to reduce our living standard to pay for corporate greed.

Of course, they’d never use that kind of honest language. But throughout the land workers are being denied their collective bargaining rights, social programs are on the chopping block — even children are being kicked off of food stamps! At the same time, insanely wealthy corporations who should pay their fair share, often pay no taxes at all.

He then goes on to list those companies paying no taxes

The Special Election is 24 May. If you want to contribute, this is the link.

If you lived in NY-26, would you vote for Murphy? If you want to see your other choices, you can link to them here. And this is what Murphy has to say about some of them: 

I am pro-Craigslist transsexuals. Unlike your last Congressman, however, I am not a terrible hypocrite. And unlike my Republican opponent, I am not a discriminating jerk.

Me? I'm sending a check. I've had it with the status quo, and the only voice I have in NY-26 is my checkbook. And yes, I'm still seething that my amount is capped, while GE, BofA and the rest can give as much as they want, and have that money since they pay no taxes. But what about you?

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DocJess :: Would You Vote for Ian Murphy?

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Something wrong with the Democrat? (0.00 / 0)
There is a Democrat in this race (Murphy is running as a Green): Kathy Hochul. Is there a reason to support a chimerical third-party firebrand over the actual Democrat?

Seems like a blue dog... (0.00 / 0)
While she says that she is pro-labour and pro-working people, she also claims to be pro-business. I've HAD IT with pro-business people. Really HAD IT.  

[ Parent ]
I'm trying to process that (0.00 / 0)
So you're actively going to work against Democratic candidates that claim to be pro-business?  

[ Parent ]
i am not sure i am gonna work for this guy, (0.00 / 0)
 but i have said for years that i am a green who is going to vote democratic and work to move the party to adopt a green party platform untilt he day that the greens field enough candidates at the local state and federal level to be a real party. looks like this guy is a big step in that direction. wonder what his chances are? with our help, and without it. the big problem for us is the same as the gop and tea party. is this a district that splitting off 25-30% of the liberal vote form the dem means an automatic election of a goper? is there ever gonna be a time when that isnt the case? when does one leave the safe, if disgusting compromise and bull ahead for the right thing, the right candidate, the right issues?

[ Parent ]
More on Hochul (0.00 / 0)
An analysis from a local blogger is here. From the tone of it, I think the blogger is progressive, although I'm not familiar with him.

From what I've read, this is a competitive election. Hochul could win it, but it will be tough.

As I recall, many progressives were worried about Gillibrand, another upstate New York Democrat whose politics reflected the Democrats in her district. With her leadership on issues like DOMA, I doubt many progressives are worried now.

I can understand working against a Democrat in a general or special election, if the Democrat has either shown themselves to be problematic for the party (think Blanche Lincoln) or if they run an election that suggests they will be (think Joe Manchin). But from what I can find, Hochul is a competent technocrat, more interested in bite-size, practical issues than big ideological themes on either side.

Here's a recent statement from Hochul. It's certainly not a progressive clarion call, but taking on GE shows some guts. Judge for yourself whether this meets the bar of sending money to her Green opponent:

"While America's small businesses are doing everything they can to stay afloat and create jobs, one of our nation's corporate giants has found the loopholes that help them avoid paying their fair share of taxes," said Kathy Hochul, candidate in New York's 26th Congressional District.

"Once elected, I will fight for our small businesses and work to ensure we close the corporate tax loopholes that allowed General Electric to report a 2010 worldwide profit of $14.2 billion, without paying a single dollar in American taxes.  In fact, due to G.E.'s intense lobbying efforts and slick accounting, the company was able to claim a $3.2 billion tax benefit - money that could have been invested in small businesses that create jobs here at home.

"The fact that every taxpayer in the 26th District paid more in taxes last year than General Electric is plain wrong.  It's time we overhaul our tax code. Without many of their tax breaks, G.E. would currently have thousands and thousands of more jobs here in the U.S.  So we must end the tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas and instead invest in local businesses that create jobs for hard working American families."

Taxes (0.00 / 0)
Oh, and Hochul has a record of raising taxes. Not that I want to play in to the Democrats-want-to-raise-your-taxes cliche, but does that sound like a DINO to you?

[ Parent ]
Would you vote for this guy? (0.00 / 0)
Here is an excerpt from a three-year old column Ian Murphy wrote arguing that we give people who serve in the military excessive deference:

But what kind of world would we rather live in: one where fools are admired for being fooled and murderers are extolled for murdering, or one where we have the capacity to step back and say, "I don't care who told you to do what and why; you're still an asshole!" Personally, I'd rather live in a world where people who act like retards are treated like retards: executed in Texas.

I understand the argument that the obligatory bipartisan praise of rank and file members of the armed forces is problematic. I don't agree with it; it seems to me that praise and thanks are part of the deal in exchange for their putting their lives are risk--but I understand it.

But preferring to live in a world where every member of the military is executed, while clearly hyperbolic, is beyond the pale for me. And that has nothing to do with the military being "sacrosanct"--calling for the execution of every banker, or politician, or priest, would also out of bounds.

No way I could support this guy. I'll check my financial situation, and consider donating to Hochul.

one more reason i will never run for public office:) (0.00 / 0)
i can just imagine the electorate getting a whiff of some of my rants!!!
none calling for the execution of american soldiers, though....

[ Parent ]
Scott (0.00 / 0)
In this case, yes, I'd support a seemingly nutsy green over a Democrat.

This is an off year election for a House seat that "doesn't matter" in the whip count.

Second, since the 2001 redistricting, when Maurice Hinchley moved to the 22nd, the Republican wins have been huge.

Third, this is the only chance this year, with a candidate to say to the Democratic Party that I have HAD IT with their pro-business kowtowing.

2006 (0.00 / 0)
In 2006, a strong Democratic year, the Republican candidate won by 4 points--otherwise there have been blowouts, as you said. But doesn't it feel like there's a huge anti-Republican surge right now, particularly in places like western New York? And in special elections, strong feelings matter particularly strongly.

As for pro-business kowtowing, Hochul has 5 "news items" on her website, and one of them is a slam on GE. Other than general language on "helping businesses create jobs," what makes you think Hochul kowtows to big business?

It's funny--I feel like we've switched places. With Alvin Greene, you were a strong critic of his candidacy. I understand there are differences: notably, Greene was running for Senate. But he also won a Democratic primary, had some relevant background, and was running in an election that was going to be lopsided anyway.

[ Parent ]
Oh, we've switched placed, but for "different differences" (0.00 / 0)
I opposed Alvin Greene's candidacy for a variety of reasons: first, he DIDN'T CAMPAIGN. He didn't have a platform, he didn't have the ability (or if he did, he didn't use it) to speak in public. He was under arrest. He did NOT have any relevant background.

Murphy has the background for what he says he wants to do: go to Congress to represent what he is: a regular guy (and not in the way Joe the Plumber claimed to be a "regular guy").

There is something to the issue of the House v the Senate. You don't actually need to know anything in the House (reference Eric Cantor and how a bill becomes a law.....) more seriously, the House lacks the byzantine structure of the Senate. And given the troop of idiots who were elected last November, they really are going on age and citizenship as the only requirements.

But more importantly -- when you and I became acquainted through DCW in 2008, you were the independent, and I was the do-or-die Democrat. In 2008, I would NEVER have considered anyone BUT the Democratic candidate. I don't like considering Greens as serious candidates....I fundamentally believe in the 2-party system. But I look at the last two years and just plain shake my head. And I don't like me for being behind Ian Murphy any more than you do, Scott. Honest.  

[ Parent ]
gotta say, given what has been stated above, i might consider working for ian (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Alvin Greene (0.00 / 0)
I opposed Alvin Greene's candidacy for a variety of reasons: first, he DIDN'T CAMPAIGN. He didn't have a platform, he didn't have the ability (or if he did, he didn't use it) to speak in public. He was under arrest. He did NOT have any relevant background.

He was poor at speaking in public, and he was indicted, but the rest of that is not true.

His platform was here. If you prefer a nonpartisan site, On the Issues had his stances here.

And how about this op ed?

He campaigned.

As for relevant background, it is insulting to the University of South Carolina to dismiss their bachelor's degree in political science.

And DeMint repeatedly refused to debate him.

No, I don't think Greene would have made a good Senator. But I'm baffled as to how Murphy is any better. And I'm super-baffled that no one has offered more than vague labels as to why Hochul is not a good, Democratic, candidate. Once again, what has Hochul said or done to make her unsuitable?

[ Parent ]
I"m sorry, I was unclear... (0.00 / 0)
He didn't campaign IN THE PRIMARY -- in my mind, he didn't have the nomination fair and square. He didn't have a web site, didn't do ANYTHING throughout the primary season.

Vic Rawl was a legitimate candidate, and DeMint would have debated him. It may not have made a difference in South Carolina in 2010, but the issues would have gotten out in front of people.

As for the NY-26 - I do believe Hochul to be a "standard" Democrat, trending Blue Dog. There is nothing which indicates differently. And I am APPALLED by these folks. Especially the Blue Dogs who vote with the Republicans on issues that truly matter. House and Senate. Hochul talks a good game about GE, but we all know that's never coming up for a vote -- that is, the corporate tax loopholes, the rich are too entrenched as donors.

I'm concerned about next year's races in which I vote. Bob Casey is up to the plate again. Between now and then, is he going to vote to defund Planned Parenthood? Probably. And then he's going to come and ask for my vote.

As I've said, I don't like my position. Not in the general, not in the specific. I want to vote for DEMOCRATS....but the current crop don't seem LIKE Democrats. (It's the party platform thing again.....)

[ Parent ]
Corporate tax loopholes (0.00 / 0)
I'm much less cynical on the possibility of plugging the corporate loopholes than you are. If it's ever going to happen, it's within the next 12 months. Consider the attitudes of the various groups:

Rich, but not super-rich individuals seem to kind of like the idea, because it would probably be coupled with a drop in the corporate income tax to make the thing revenue-neutral. While it's a canard for the GOP to insist that personal income taxes on incomes above one million hurts mom and pop businesses, it does work the other way around: tax reform that helps mom and pop businesses will help the kind of boutique businesses the rich often own.

The Tea Party should like it. While elements of the Tea Party have been funded by corporations, the movement got away from them. Simplifying the tax code while lowering the nominal corporate rate should appeal to them.

Many Blue Dogs should like it. They can burnish their anti-corporatist credentials while simultaneously avoiding raising the deficit.

Obama likes it. Key mainstream Democrats like Schumer also seem supportive.

Progressives don't seem to like it much, because they don't like the idea of dropping the nominal corporate rate.

Mainstream GOP politicians would rather the idea dies a quiet death--the debate surrounding it would be very uncomfortable for them. If it did start to get traction, they might be forced to go along with it.

Corrupt politicians of all stripes would fight it tooth and nail!

Voters of all stripes seem primed for it.

With that combination of supporters and opponents, the calculus is very hard to make out. Note, for instance, that financial reform got stronger as the process progressed. Perhaps not strong enough, but it was still the opposite of the usual process.

So far this year, we've seen a lot of strange votes in the House, with progressives and Tea Party types lined up against Blue Dogs and mainstream GOPers. Sometimes one side has won, and sometimes the other. (And for that matter, sometimes I've agreed with one side, and sometimes the other.) The vote on the spare engines for the fighter jets was instructive, as that was a direct challenge to...wait for it...GE. And GE lost, despite having both Kucinich and Boehner on GE's side.

So I think there's a chance.  

[ Parent ]




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