Contest for Congress: In Hudson Valley, Republican Tries to Recapture Seat from Rockstar

Monday, September 20, 2010

Until four years ago, New York's 19th House District in the lower Hudson Valley was considered Republican territory. But in 2006, former Orleans guitarist John Hall used a grassroots coalition of environmental and peace groups to beat six-term Republican Sue Kelly. Two years later, he got more votes in the district than President Obama.

Now he faces a well-funded challenger in Dr. Nan Hayworth, a pro-choice opthampologist. Hayworth beat off a spirited primary challenge from a pro-life candidate and pumped a half million dollars into her campaign. Both Hall and Hayworth appear to have about the same amount of money on hand to duke it out before the general election. 

Before he was elected to Congress, Rep. Hall founded the anti-nuclear group Musicians United For Safe Energy and opposed the war in Iraq. In Washington, he became a leading advocate for veterans and an attentive provider of constituent services. The House Democratic leadership gave the rookie Hall the chairmanship of the House subcommittee that handles veterans disability issues. His work to expedite the byzantine disability claim process for veterans has won him the backing of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Political Action Campaign.

The telegenic Hayworth is running as a deficit hawk and vows to freeze all stimulus spending. Tea Party voters will like her pledge to only approve appropriations related to the federal government's basic constitutional responsibilities. She is also looking to cast November's contest as a referendum on President Obama's and Democratic efforts to reform the nation's health care system. She argues that the legislative overhaul actually threatens to undermine "the world's best" health care system.

Meanwhile, Hall has to both make his case for re-election and educate constituents about new health insurance policies that don't take effect for years, like the end to denying coverage for adults because of pre-existing conditions that comes in 2014.


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Comments [7]


Prior to the health care vote, polling in NY 19 showed that the overwhelming majority of the residents of the district DID NOT support "Obamacare".

The bill was sold as a cost control measure. In his address to congress he said the following:

"Finally, our health care system is placing an unsustainable burden on taxpayers. When health care costs grow at the rate they have, it puts greater pressure on programs like Medicare and Medicaid. If we do nothing to slow these skyrocketing costs, we will eventually be spending more on Medicare and Medicaid than every other government program combined. Put simply, our health care problem is our deficit problem. Nothing else even comes close."

How many times did you hear the president say that the bill would "bend the cost curve down" and "not add one dime to the deficit"?

Prior to the vote, I wrote numerous emails to Rep. Hall to see where he stood on the bill and to voice my opinion. I never heard back from ANYONE in his office.

As we know, John Hall IGNORED his constituency and voted with The President and Nancy Peolsi/ Harry Reid!

Since the bill was passed it has become clear that not only will the bill NOT bend the cost curve down, but it will slightly INCREASE COSTS!

It is imperative that we elect Dr Nan Hayworth as our representative to congress. Dr Hayworth has pledged to do all she can to stop this monstrosity of a bill from being implemented. She has promised to stop the reckless spending that is going on in washington!

Please make sure that you vote for Dr Hayworth on Nov 2. Let's send a message to Rep Hall that you cannot ignore your constituency without consequences!!!

Sep. 21 2010 06:37 AM

I'm a registered Democrat and John Hall will not get my vote. His constituent service is beyond reprehensible. Unemployed single mom, I started a home based small business and have been trying for a year to modify my mortgage through Obama's HAMP program. My bank, a major TARP recipient has been unresponsive. I have: emailed JH six times, called four times, tried to schedule a meeting with him, finally met with one of his staff who gave me a HUD pamphlet. Six months later, I traveled to his DC office, met with a junior staff member (JH was off campaigning) and was treated with indifference. I referenced other congressmen who helped struggling homeowners in similar situations and was asked to email the referenced articles! They were clueless. What a joke. John Hall better start tuning his guitar.

Sep. 20 2010 08:46 PM
Gordon from Rockland

To Perplexed..

Yes, "Still the One", "Dance with me" album was awful, slick stuff, over-produced. However, Orleans first album was still the good gritty, funky stuff they played as Bonnie Rait's band for years. Hall could play. It was popular with musicians. That was the end. I guess the second was the sellout.


Sep. 20 2010 11:37 AM
Perplexed from Hudson Valley

Rockstar? Orleans?!

That sappy, maudlin crap they put out in the 70s! That was rock?! They were stars?! 'Dance With Me" and "Still the One", are you serious?!!

Sep. 20 2010 11:21 AM
MessHall from Westchester

I own a small business and contacted Hall for help with a Gov issue –TWICE- …I was brushed aside.
Before you Vote , ask yourself –
*How often have you seen Hall in your Community ?
*Over the last few years , How often have you heard his name in the Press ? (except election time of course)
He was elected to represent US, Vote for and protect New Yorkers ..instead he’s become another Congressional “smiling face” following Pelosi’s agenda
And playing the role.
Under his watch , District 19 LOST 160 million Dollars in Federal Contracts/spending last year.
We need a full time representative , not a Hall who magically appears only when he wants Votes.

From Musician to a Gov Magician ..his greatest illusion is making you think he cares.

Vote Hayworth and end the Hall Show

Sep. 20 2010 09:49 AM
Independent Thinker

I'm voting for the Democrats because I got tired of the insurance companies ripping people off, and the Republicans are ready to give the final say back to the lobbyists and big corporations. Hayworth and her husband (both are doctors) made a fortune from our high medical costs--no wonder she wants to eliminate health care reform!

Sep. 20 2010 09:14 AM
Cornwall voter from Cornwall, NY

John Hall has terrible constituent service! I called him (twice), e-mailed him (twice), and wrote him (once) about specific concerns and questions regarding ObamaCare. Guess what I got in return? A single form letter that addressed none of my concerns and then a lot of campaign mail! He represents the arogance and aloofness that we need to purge come November. Good riddens!

Sep. 20 2010 08:06 AM

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