Vito Fossella: Bush Lap Dog, Social Security Flip Flopper, and Friend to Criminals
Well, voting record is not the only way in which Fossella is a Bush/Cheney/Rove lapdog.
Let's look at the record. Let's start with an article from 2005 from Americans United to Protect Social Security:
STATEN ISLAND – Social Security recipients and activists delivered a large frosted “Social Security” cake to Congressman Vito Fossella’s office today – to illustrate Fossella’s approach to Social Security -- having his cake and eating it too.
“Fossella continues to consider legislation that would privatize Social Security by diverting the Social Security surplus into private accounts – even as he says he opposes the sliding-scale benefit reductions promoted by the Bush-Cheney administration,” said Frank O’Connor, a volunteer with the IN THIS TOGETHER campaign. “Fossella wants to have his cake and eat it too – because any privatization plan is inevitably accompanied by benefit cuts and dramatic increases in the national debt.”
The article then highlights the extreme duplicity of Fossella's stand on this issue:
"I do not believe the progressive indexing plan I have seen is in the best interests of the people I represent in Staten Island and Brooklyn.” – Fossella Statement 5/26/05
“I can support personal accounts.” – Fossella Statement, 5/26/05
Later on Monday, Fossella will be joined at a fundraiser by one of privatization’s biggest boosters, Vice President Dick Cheney.
Now let's look at that visit Cheney made at this fundraiser for Fossella: (from the WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE)
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Vice President at Dinner for Vito Fossella
Vice President's Remarks at a Dinner for Congressman Vito Fossella
The Excelsior Grand Staten Island, New York 6:40 P.M. EDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you all very much.
Well, thank you very much, it's great to be back and to visit Staten Island -- the home of one of America's outstanding congressmen -- (applause) -- and friendly territory for our President, George W. Bush. (Applause.)
I want to thank all of you for coming out today, and, of course, I'm here to join all of you in a tribute to one of our foremost rising stars, if you will, in the U.S. House of Representatives. You know him well, and you know he's a man who comes through time and time again for Staten Island and all of New York.
Some of you may not be aware that I spent 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives as a congressman. I was the congressman from Wyoming. Wyoming only has one congressman. (Laughter.) It was a small delegation, but it was quality. (Laughter and applause.) And my 10 years of service there taught me to appreciate the qualities of my colleagues and those who were first rate in terms of having good strong convictions, who never forgot where they came from, and who were, in fact, the leaders of the nation. And Vito Fossella is exactly that kind of member. (Applause.)...
We're going to continue making progress for the American people, and in that work we could not ask for a better partner than Congressman Vito Fossella. (Applause.) Once again, I want to thank all of you for your commitment to the cause we share, and for electing Vito to Congress. Every time you vote for this man, you're voting for a better America, and for a strong, effective, patriotic Congressman who never forgets who sent him to Washington. The President and I look forward to working with Vito for a good many years to come.
Thank you very much.
END 7:00 P.M. EDT For Immediate Release Office of the Vice President July 25, 2005
Clearly, Vice President Cheney does NOT think Fossella is in any way independent but rather considers him one of his best "partners" in enacting the extreme right wing agenda. Including, I might add, the destruction of Social Security.
Going back a little further, to 2004, here are remarks by Bush at a Bush-Cheney reception in NYC: (again, from the White House website)
Remarks by the President at Bush-Cheney 2004 Reception
East Meadow, New York
6:25 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for coming. Thanks for the warm welcome. It's great...Let me get started. (Laughter.) Thanks for coming. Thanks for your friendship. Thanks for your support. It is great to be back in New York. We have had a fantastic day here today. And it's topped off by what is a successful effort to make sure that my campaign is properly fueled -- (laughter) -- for the charge ahead. (Applause.)
We're going to compete here in New York, and we're going to compete here hard. I'm counting on you. I'm counting on you to help us. The Vice President and I look forward to bringing our message to this great state. New York is going to be a part of what is going to be a great national victory in November of this year. (Applause.)
Speaking about our Vice President, I made a really good pick when I asked Dick Cheney to join me. He's the finest Vice President our country has ever had. (Applause.)...
I'm also pleased that Peter King traveled with me today, from Washington, D.C., to his district here in New York. (Applause.) I want to thank Peter for his service. He's a fine United States congressman, as is Vito Fossella. Vito is a New York congressman, as well. (Applause.)
So, when Bush and Cheney love you, how can you call yourself independent? But it goes beyond Fossella serving Bush and Cheney. He also has been great friends with Republican criminals in Congress.
Remember that Vito Fossella has received money from Republican Congressman and sexual predator Mark Foley, AND happily posed for photographs with him. And here is a list of contributions Fossella has received from the corrupt Republican leadership (from the DCCC website):
TIES WITH THE GOP LEADERSHIP
* Fossella received $15,000 from House Majority Leader John Boehner's "Freedom Project" PAC [Go here to read about Boehner's corruption].
* Fossella has taken $1,000 from GOP Whip Roy Blunt[Roy Blunt is on of the nation's most corrupt politicians].
* Fossella received $5,000 from GOP Whip Roy Blunt's "Rely on Your Beliefs" PAC.
* Fossella voted with President Bush 89% of the time.
* Fossella voted the GOP party line 92% of the time.
TIES WITH TOM DELAY
Fossella has taken:
* $10,000 from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC.
With all of these ties to the DeLay mess, is it any surprise that Fossella has:
* Voted to weaken House ethics rules when DeLay proposed doing so as GOP Majority Leader.
* Voted to allow the GOP House Leader to continue to serve after an indictment, an apparent tactic to protect DeLay.
* Voted with Tom DeLay 91% of the time (through 3/31/2006)
And let's not forget that Tom DeLay has been ARRESTED for his corruption.
Now let's return to Fossella's voting record (remember...90% of the time voting with Republicans and Tom DeLay). Here are some excerpts:
Rep. Fossella voted to cut Federal student aid by $12.7 billion -- the biggest such cuts in history.
Rep. Fossella voted against granting a bonus to grant a $1,500 bonus to every American service member serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including National Guard and Reserve forces.
Rep. Fossella opposed expanding access to the military's TRICARE health insurance program to thousands of Reservist and National Guard members, even though 20 percent of all Reservists do not have health insurance, and 40 percent of Reservists aged 19 to 35 lack health coverage.
Rep. Fossella voted to continue awarding contracts to Halliburton [Dick Cheney's pet company] even if the Pentagon's own audit processes found that more than $100 million of their contractor's costs in Iraq were unreasonable. No surprise that Halliburton gave Fossella $1,500.
Rep. Fossella voted for the GOP Medicare Prescription Drug Bill that will give billions to businesses and the health care industry, while forcing seniors to accept annual increases in premiums and deductibles and a growing gap in coverage for the prescription drugs they buy.
Rep. Fossella voted to allow federal loans to American companies that have escaped paying U.S. taxes by moving offshore.
Rep. Fossella voted against cracking down on the oil and gas industries price gouging.
Rep. Fossella voted for the GOP energy bill that gave billions to oil, gas and nuclear industries.
So I have to ask, where in all this solid service to Bush, Cheney, DeLay, Foley and Halliburton does Fossella show ANY degree of independence whatsoever? And where is all this does he in any way serve America or New York?
And, lest we forget, Vito Fossella himself is corrupt and scandal ridden.