Thursday, October 25, 2007

King's Flunky Trying to Pull a Fast One

A few years ago I pointed out that then executive vice-president of the Nassau County Young Republicans Alex Vassallo wrote scathing (and factually challenged) letters to the Long Island Press and Newsday without bothering to mention his position with the republican party. That is called being dishonest. See here and here. I also caught their First Vice-President doing the same here. Both young men went on to become Presidents of the Nassau County Young Republicans.

Two weeks ago the Long Island Press did a cover story about Long Island "Citizen Journalists" and featured Peter King Watch as one of the sites.

Last week, a letter appeared in the Press bashing the site and me...
"Zinging King Watch
Dear Editor,
I have to question your recent article on one of the “citizen journalists,” the gentleman who runs the blog King Watch [“Citizen Journalists: Long Island Blogs,” Oct. 4]. Journalism used to be something revered, but people like [the bloggers on] King Watch, along with those who covered the King/Mejias election for Newsday last year, showed their true colors-that they are interested in substantive issues but would rather make cheap political points by relentlessly attacking the congressman’s son and daughter for alleged ties to lobbyists. They even went to far as to allege both his children influenced his decisions without a shred of evidence. I am sorry, but this is not what my definition of journalism is and the last thing we should be doing is encouraging such behavior. Dissent is a part of political discourse and while it’s a fallacy to believe in the term “clean election,” the spew that came from King Watch was shameful and uncalled for. We all know that there are certain things that Mejias couldn’t say directly, so rather, he had his hatchet man at King Watch do it for him - that’s not journalism.
Michael Kaplan, Freeport"

I read that and chuckled.
Because Michael Kaplan is trying to pull a fast one.

Here is my letter in this weeks Long Island Press...
"This is in response to the letter about my website Peter King Watch featured in the Oct. 4th issue. Letter writer Michael Kaplan takes issue with my website alternately calling me a “gentleman” and a “hatchet man.” Here comes the inconvienent truth; far from being “relentless,” the posts on my site about Sean Kings lobbying ties consisted of four posts out of hundreds. My site deals with issues and facts that Kaplan and King cannot refute or rebut. I work for no one but myself and post what I feel needs to be known by voters. Simply put, the facts.
What is most disturbing is that Kaplan stands on his soapbox pontificating about what he believes is journalism and tries to make what he himself calls “cheap political points” without disclosing his own background. Michael Kaplan is the past president of the Nassau County Young Republicans, interned for Peter King and now works for King’s committee in Washington . He boasts of being called “Mike the Machine” by King on his MySpace page. If Kaplan wanted to be honest he would have included that information which would put his attack on me and King Watch in better perspective."

So we have the former president of the YR's and a current employee of King making like he's just a regular guy writing a letter to the editor.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

King Tries to Scare Religious Right into Supporting Rudy

James Dobson of the right-wing group Focus on the Family is one of many religious-right leaders who are considering supporting a third-party candidate if the twice-divorced, abortion-rights supporting, gun-control extolling Guiliani gets the GOP nomination.
In response, King pulls the Hillary-Hate card and says that if the religious right doesn't support Rudy, Hillary Clinton will be president.
The New York Observer has more...
Peter King: Dobson Could Elect Hillary

Peter King thinks the religious right wing might end up guaranteeing a Hillary Clinton presidency.

"It would do more harm to the religious wing of the party," said King, a Giuliani supporter and Republican congressman from New York. "If they are successful it would mean they would be responsible for Hillary Clinton being president."

Ultimately, he doesn't think it's going to happen.

"They're not going to be successful," he said of Giuliani critics like James Dobson. "I think they are going to do very poorly."

But King also said he thought the prospect of President Hillary would be the very thing that would rally disparate parts of G.O.P. behind Giuliani.

"He is the one Republican that has the best chance of beating Hillary Clinton," said King. "Because having Hillary there makes the Republicans realize how serious this election is next year - that this is not just a theoretical debate. This is for real and he is the only one right now who can match her toe-to-toe as far as television ability or even the super-status that she has."

Monday, October 08, 2007

Blogger Cover Story in Long Island Press

Thanks to the Long Island Press Editors and Staff for choosing this site.

"Citizen Journalists
Long Island Blogs Tackle Topics From Politics To Sports To Rude Behavior In The Hamptons...And Beyond

Peter King Watch

What's the deal? Arguably the most high-profile individual politician-watchdog blog for LI, the Peter King Watch keeps tabs on the headline-prone, lone-Republican U.S. representative in the LI caucus. With no shortage of material, this blog has been recapping and editorializing on the congressman's often eyebrow-raising public statements since posts started in 2004.

Why should you care? The blog has commented on everything from King's rise and fall from chair of the Homeland Security Committee, to protests at his district office in Massapequa, to his skirmishes with the Muslim community (not to mention the angry letter-writing community). Latest entries go beyond King's controversial recent interview when he made his "there are too many mosques in America" comment. Posts also track the congressman's latest votes on important bills in the House. As a sign of the blog's success, there are even anti-King souvenirs for sale on the website. It's not all negative, though. In a show of concern, the blogger posted that he hoped those responsible for placing a pipe bomb outside King's district office would be arrested.

Quotable: "I thank God every night that George Bush is our president."-A King classic that the blogger seems to take joy in reminding readers about regularly"

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

More Condemnation of King's Bigotry

Letters From Today's Newsday:

King should stop bigotry

One cannot help but get an uncomfortable sense of deja vu reading the remarks of Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) that there are "too many mosques in this country, there's too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam" ["King: 'Too many mosques,'" News, Sept. 20].

Once again flying boldly in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, King seems unwilling or perhaps unable to abandon his crusade against his fellow Americans who happen to be of a faith other than his own.

It is both a political and a moral tragedy for all of us when a representative, charged not only with representing all the citizens of his district in Congress but with upholding and defending the Constitution and all the rights guaranteed therein, stoops to this kind of fear-mongering and bigotry.

Muslim Americans, like Christian and Jewish and every other kind of Americans, are equal under the law and as such are equally entitled to be free of harassment because of their faith. President George W. Bush has said more than once that the war on terror is not a war on Islam. Peter King should listen to him.

Rev. Mark J. Lukens

Editor's note: The writer is president of the Long Island chapter of The Interfaith Alliance and pastor of Bethany Congregational Church.

East Rockaway

As an American, I hang my head in shame. And as a Jew with a deep sense of foreboding, I stand in solidarity with my Muslim fellow citizens to repudiate the conduct of Rep. Peter King and State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) for their prejudicial and inflammatory actions.

King's unsubstantiated claims and innuendoes are reminiscent of the defamatory tactics employed against my own faith community in Germany just before the Nazi takeover in 1933.

The same may be said of passing into law encouragement to subject to police scrutiny ordinary citizens who may be engaged in an unfamiliar ritual practice of their faith without potential consequences for defamation. It is a blatant incitement to community divisiveness and the harassment of those whose life of pious service to the divine differs from the more commonplace.

I call upon my fellow clergy of all denominations and all citizens of goodwill to denounce publicly both of these contributions to the intended discrimination that they foster toward loyal Americans.

Rabbi Paul Joseph

Long Beach

Monday, October 01, 2007

OMG! King Finally Votes for Childrens Health Insurance

After voting AGAINST expanding children's health care back in August, King has come around figuring that voting against children isn't a good campaign platform.

From the Daily Gotham...
"Have you been following the fight to reauthorize and expand the State-Child Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP)?
Tuesday, a large majority of Congress members voted for a House-Senate compromise which will make lower cost health insurance available to millions of children who are, at present, without any. UPDATE: Thursday night, the Senate voted for S-CHIP 67-29; greater than two-thirds majority. Every GOP Senator in a tight bid for reelection in 2008 voted for S-CHIP and against Mr. Bush. President Bush, that deplorable politician, has promised a veto.

The problem progressives face is that, even with 45 GOP votes, we are 24 votes away from a veto over-riding two-thirds majority. Peter King and Vito Fossella, perhaps with a wish to avoid political extinction, voted for the bill (They’d voted against earlier versions in the House). Two NYS GOP Congress Members voted with Mr. Bush against Child Health: John "Randy" Kuhl & Thomas Renyolds. A Century Foundation poll shows voters want to spend more to insure more children and oppose a Bush veto."

Reaction to Peter "Archie Bunker" King

"The (Staunton, Va.) News Leader

Sept. 23, 2007

A few weeks ago, after former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had announced he was resigning, we suggested that a good way to check the qualifications of any prospective candidates for Gonzales' post might be to require them to pass the same test prospective U.S. citizens take. After all, Gonzales seemed unaware of concepts like the rule of law and the Constitution, things every want-to-be American must know.

After listening to the ravings of Rep. Peter King, R-NY, we've got another suggestion: Make it a prerequisite that any individual seeking to be elected to or currently serving in Congress be familiar with at least the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

That would be what we fondly refer to as the Bill of Rights. It's apparent King isn't even familiar with the First Amendment, at least not the part that guarantees freedom of religion.

In an interview with The Politico, a newspaper that covers - what else, politics - in Washington, D.C., King, who is the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said that there were "too many mosques" in America.

"Unfortunately, we have too many mosques in this country. There's too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully. We should be finding out how we can infiltrate. We should be much more aggressive in law enforcement," King was quoted as saying.

Later, King tried to say he was quoted "out of context." Unedited video of the interview, however, shows that not to be the case.

Every time an elected official wanders off into this kind of intellectual terra incognito, we can't help but wonder two things:

- Did they even get a basic education, and

- Wouldn't we be better off if this person was in some other line of work?

There are not "too many mosques" in the U.S., any more than there are too many Baptist churches or Jewish temples.

Sadly, there are too many people like Peter King who do not understand that one of the reasons the U.S. has grown and flourished is its ability to open its arms to people of many faiths, many nations, and many colors."