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2008 New York's 29th congressional district election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New York's 29th congressional district election, 2008

← 2006 November 4, 2008 (2008-11-04) 2010 →
Eric Massa.jpg
Randy Kuhl.jpg
Nominee Eric Massa Randy Kuhl
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 140,529 135,199
Percentage 51.0% 49.0%

Representative before election

Randy Kuhl

Elected Representative

Eric Massa

The 2008 Congressional election in New York's 29th district took place on November 4, 2008. Democratic nominee Eric Massa defeated Republican incumbent Randy Kuhl, following his unsuccessful 2006 run against Kuhl.[1]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Why Super PACS Dominate Elections | Citizens United v. FEC


Mr. Beat Presents Supreme Court Briefs Washington DC 2007 A self-described conservative non-profit corporation called Citizens United wants to release a documentary. The film, called Hillary: The Movie, (hey that’s a pretty catchy title) talks a bunch of trash about Hillary Clinton, who just so happens to be running for President. Citizens United wanted to distribute and advertise the film within a month before the Democratic primary elections in January 2008. However, this would be a violation of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, aka BCRA, aka the McCain-Feingold Act, the latest law that limited how political campaigns were paid for. BCRA said corporations or labor unions can’t spend money from their general treasury to broadcast anything through the mass media that specifically brings up a candidate running for federal office within 30 days of a primary. Anticipating that the Federal Election Commission, or FEC, might try to stop the release of their documentary, Citizens United went ahead and took the FEC to the United States District Court, essentially saying “don’t even think about it, FEC.” Citizens United claimed BCRA didn’t apply to Hillary: The Movie, because the film wasn’t clearly for or against a candidate. It also claimed that the Supreme Court decision FEC v. Wisconsin Right To Life justified them releasing the film within 30 days of the Democratic primaries. Not only that, but Citizens United argued that portions of BCRA straight up violated the FIrst Amendment to the Constitution. On January 15, 2008, the three-judge U.S. District Court said “nope, sorry Citizens United.” You can’t have your injunction, you gotta let the FEC regulate. The court said the film was clearly just meant to get people to not vote for Hillary Clinton, I was called Hillary: The Movie, for crying out loud. They also said the film was meant to be strategically shown right before the primaries for this purpose and they cited the Supreme Court decision in McConnell v. FEC as justification that the FEC could prevent the showing up this film. Citizens United was like you know what? I’m appealing to the Supreme Court. Now, as you know, this can be a long process. What ended up happening was Hillary Clinton did not get the Democratic nomination and Barack Obama ended up being elected President later that year. But that ended up being irrelevant other than the fact that Obama nominated a new justice, Sonia Sotomayor, that agreed with the justice she replaced, David Souter. Actually, that's kind of irrelevant, too. Throughout 2009, the Supreme Court heard multiple arguments about the case. The Court had remained very divided on the issue. Things got pretty philosophical. Finally, on January 21, 2010, the Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Citizens United arguing that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment prohibited the government from limiting money spent by corporations, labor unions, and other associations, on political campaigns. Specifically, we’re talking about independent political expenditures, or political campaign contributions not directly affiliated with the candidate. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. “If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.” The Court's ruling basically freed corporations and unions to spend as much money as they want to elect or defeat candidates as long as they didn’t contribute directly to candidates or political parties. The majority also argued that First Amendment protects ASSOCIATIONS of individuals, not just individual speakers, so you can’t prohibit speech based on the identity of the speaker. So corporations have free speech rights just like you or I. The idea of Corporate Personhood, or the legal notion that corporations share some of the same legal rights and responsibilities held by individuals, had pretty much been established by the Supreme Court since the 1800s. In this case, the Court definitely ruled that corporations are people man, corporations are people. Justice John Paul Stevens led the opinion of the dissent. Stevens was pretty upset about how this one turned out His dissent was 90 pages, and he passionately summarized it for 20 minutes from the bench. Stevens later wrote a book explaining that a Constitutional amendment should be passed to make sure money doesn’t influence politics, mostly due to this ruling. Today, Citizens United v. FEC continues to get people fired up Bernie: If we are going to maintain a true democracy in this country it is absolute imperative that we overturn this disastrous 5-4 Supreme Court decision on Citizens United. Protesters have passionately spoke out against it, and organizations like Wolf PAC were created in response to the decision. Just like Roe v. Wade, this is a Supreme Court decision that will be discussed and debated for many years to come. I'll see you for the next Supreme Court case, jury!



Two-term incumbent Randy Kuhl (R) had been elected to Congress with 52% of the popular vote over Democratic candidate Eric Massa in a two-way race in 2006. In March 2006, citing his frustration with actions at the in-patient mental health care hospital at the Canandaigua VA center, former Democratic candidate, and a long-time friend of 2004 presidential candidate General Wesley Clark, Eric J.J. Massa filed to run as the Democratic candidate again in 2008.[2] In May 2007, Pittsford businessman David Nachbar, a senior vice-president of Bausch & Lomb, also announced his candidacy as a Democratic candidate for the same seat.

As of a post on April 18, 2007 from Massa on DailyKos, the DCCC placed a requirement on their support for any candidate relied upon that candidate having $300K cash-on-hand by the end of the second quarter 2007 (June 30).[3]

In August 2007, Nachbar announced that he was withdrawing from the race, with news reports stating that a letter to supporters suggest his role as Senior VP of Human Resources for Bausch & Lomb during a buyout via hedge fund Warburg Pinkus rendered him unable to campaign effectively.[4] Prior to Nachbar's announcement, Massa's campaign announced in a press release, that he had received all of the County endorsements of the 29th District and all of the townships in Monroe County, but had yet to secure the Monroe Democratic Committee endorsement.[5]

Horse Race Metrics

The Lurita Doan scandal points out that some Republican strategists feel that they are vulnerable in this district.


Metrics as of April 15, 2007

  • Randy Kuhl with $103K cash on hand, with $17K in debt (owed primarily to a DC fundraising consulting firm).[6]
  • Eric Massa with $1700 cash on hand with $75K in debt and loans (a $10K personal loan and $32K debt to a NY law firm)[7]
  • David Nachbar has yet to file any information on his campaign finances.[8]

Metrics as of July 15, 2007

  • Randy Kuhl with $105K cash on hand with $9K in debt.[9]
  • Eric Massa with $153K cash on hand with $78K in debt and loans (a $10K personal loan and $27K debt to a NY law firm).[10]
  • David Nachbar with $202K cash on hand with a personal loan of $200K.[11]

Metrics as of October 15, 2007

  • Randy Kuhl with $206K cash on hand with $0K in debt.[12]
  • Eric Massa with $216K cash on hand with $65K in debt and loans (a $10K personal loan and $13K debt to a NY law firm)[13]
  • David Nachbar with $4K cash on hand after repayment of personal loan[14]


  • As of August 2007, Eric Massa has secured the Democratic Committee endorsements of the Ontario, Steuben, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Yates, Chemung and Schuyler County Democratic Committees.
  • Massa has also secured the endorsements of Pittsford, Penfield, Mendon, Rush, Gates, Henrietta, Brighton, Chili and Perinton Democratic Town Committees (the nine towns that make up Monroe County)
  • At present, the Monroe County Committee has yet to endorse a primary candidate.
  • June 15, 2007: Major General John Batiste, former Commander of the United States Army's First Infantry Division, endorsed Massa.
  • August 2007: Congressman Jerrold Nadler endorsed Massa.


The first poll of the campaign was released on October 8, 2008, by SurveyUSA. The poll showed Massa receiving support from 51% of likely voters to Kuhl's 44%, reflecting the overall Democratic trend across the country.[15] On October 30, 2008, Rasmussen Reports predicted that Massa would win the election on November 4.


Randy Kuhl

Randy Kuhl
Randy Kuhl

A native of the 29th District, Congressman Randy Kuhl has lived in the area all of his life. The son of a doctor and a nurse/teacher, Randy was born in Bath, picked grapes and worked inside the wineries on the shores of Keuka Lake, attended school in Hammondsport, had summer jobs in construction and on several different farms during his college years. He owned and operated a business in Bath, became Steuben County attorney, then successfully ran for the New York State Assembly in 1980, the New York State Senate in 1986, and the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004 where he now serves and represents the people of the 29th District.

Randy Kuhl is a graduate of Hammondsport Central School, and earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Union College (1966), and in 1969 received his Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law. He is a communicant of St. James Episcopal Church and has been active in the Hammondsport Rotary Club and BPOE 1547 in Bath. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Five Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Branchport Rod and Gun Club, and the Executive Committee of the Steuben County Republican Committee. He is President of the Board of Directors of the Reginald Wood Scouting Memorial and an immediate past member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Manufacturing and Technology.

Randy Kuhl currently lives in Hammondsport and is the father of three sons.

Eric Massa

Eric Massa was the Democratic nominee in 2006. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and went on to serve in the Navy for 24 years. He eventually served as aide to former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, General Wesley Clark. Near the end of his Navy career he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a disease he was able to survive. A former Republican, he claims he left his party over the issue of the Iraq War and campaigned in New Hampshire during the campaign of his former-boss, Wesley Clark's, failed presidential bid.

During the 2006 campaign, Massa positioned himself as strongly opposed to the Iraq war and unrestricted "free trade," favoring instead "fair trade". Other issues in his platform included expanding farm aid programs, as well as bringing homeland security money to the 29th District. Massa is also active in Band of Brothers/Veterans for a Secure America whose goal is to help veterans who are running for Congress as Democrats.

Massa has recently worked as a "business consultant" for Strategic Insight, a defense consulting firm in Alexandra, Virginia. Massa, during a press conference in June, 2007, stated that he has since "curtailed all other activities in April (2007) when he became an active candidate".

Massa lives in Corning, New York with his wife Beverly, daughter Alexandra and son Justin. His eldest son Richard lives in California.

David Nachbar

David Nachbar
David Nachbar

David Nachbar is Bausch & Lomb's senior vice president for Human Resources.[16] He was named to this post in October 2002.[16]

Nachbar joined Bausch & Lomb from The St. Paul Companies, Inc., where he was senior vice president for Human Resources.[16] Previously, he was vice president for Human Resources and chief of staff for Asia for Citibank. He also held Human Resources posts with PepsiCo and Time Warner.[16] In 1996, Nachbar ran for New York State Senate as a Democrat and was unsuccessful.

Nachbar received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University in 1984.

Debate controversy

On August 21, 2008, Massa attended a Kuhl press conference in the Corning City Hall. After the press conference ended, the two candidates spoke for a minute in the hallway. Massa challenged Kuhl to schedule debates and criticized him for not having accepted debate invitations from community leaders. After Massa left, Kuhl said he had not had time to schedule a debate. Kuhl later issued a press release which criticized Massa for being "disrespectful" at the event, which Kuhl said "was not campaign related". Councilman Dane Kane, a Democrat who also attended the press conference, joined in Massa's criticism, saying, "Kuhl has stopped his town hall meetings, won’t take questions from the public, and refuses to respond to invitations to debate the issues of the day."[17]


  1. ^ "AP Calls for Eric Massa in Tight Race With Randy Kuhl". 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2008-11-05.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2006-11-11. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
  6. ^ Kuhl FEC Apr filing
  7. ^ Massa FEC Apr filing
  8. ^ "Nachbar Committee FEC filing". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
  9. ^ Kuhl FEC Jul filing
  10. ^ Massa FEC Jul filing
  11. ^ Nachbar FEC Jul filing
  12. ^ Kuhl FEC Oct filing
  13. ^ Massa FEC Oct filing
  14. ^ Nachbar FEC Oct filing
  15. ^ Poll Shows Massa Leads Kuhl[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ a b c d "Bausch & Lomb website". Archived from the original on 2007-05-27. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
  17. ^ Smith, Jeffery (August 22, 2008). "Kuhl, Massa spar at City Hall". The Corning Leader. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 April 2019, at 18:02
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