"He (Charles Schumer) is serving the parochial interest of a very small group of financial people, bankers, investment bankers, fund managers, private equity firms, rather than serving the general public . It has hurt the American investor first and the average American taxpayer." John C. Bogle, the founder and former chairman of the Vanguard Group.
Dear Senator Schumer:
Congratulations! You've knocked me off the September 14 Democratic primary ballot. Fabulous news for you. Now you don't have to answer my questions about your 36-year record as a "public" servant. Alas, it's bad news for me. And bad news for NY Democrats. And it's real bad news for the ideal of democracy.
I'm still a bit mystified by the manner in which I was kicked off. At the end I only had 13,350 out of the necessary 15,000 signatures. I thought I was well over the top when I turned those suckers in with your pals at the Board of Elections. However, I knew something weird was going on when I walked in and noticed half the people sitting in the lobby were waiting for me to drop off my share of the multi-candidate joint petition. The two others candidates on the petition had earlier submitted their "volumes" containing what I thought were 2/3rds of the 30,000 signatures we had agreed upon. Little did I know the two gentlemen who I was convinced were working with me were actually working against me. They turned in a wagonload of blank pages and then left Albany in brand new automobiles. The joke was on me as I was soon to discover. How I allowed those jack-offs to insinuate their sorry asses into my campaign is beyond my knowledge. But I hope they enjoy their new wheels. I am sure neither you, Senor Schumer, nor your campaign, had anything to do with this bizarre caper. No, not you guys! At any rate, by the time I had passed Kingston on my way back on the thruway your own lawyers and those wing-tip zombie ones over at the state party HQ had already filed objections with the BOE and with a kool-aid drunk hack judge in Nassau County. And, low and behold, your side prevailed. And I bet you boys got a big laugh all around. Ha ha ha!
Well, to be honest, your actions are quite understandable. After all, I wouldn't want to go up against an oddball like me either. I'm not a typical loyal party hack who debates and campaigns within narrow, pre-set boundaries. You know that. That's why you deployed the most skilled election lawyers and the state Democratic party legal machinery together to make sure I was given the bum's rush. It is amazing the forces I was up against. How naïve I was. Do you realize you spent more on your successful legal effort to give me the boot than I've raised or spent in the 18 months I've been running for your seat? A seat, I might add, which was once occupied by the likes of the great orator, prison reformer and abolitionist William Seward (your complete opposite). You've defiled and dishonored that once hallowed seat, and that is one of the reasons I was inspired to make the run. Now just imagine us in a debate and me comparing you and Seward. My next letter to you will be about Seward's record vs. your record.
Now that there will be no pre-primary debate, New York Democratic voters will continue to think you are--and have always been--acting in their best interest. They'll continue to think you're the true champion of the middle class. I know better. And you know I know better. And that's why you're terrified of a real debate.
The fact that you, Mr. Senator, would prefer at all costs to avoid a serious debate on your record is the main reason why you don't care too much for primaries. Primaries may lead to a real debate. That is why they scare you. They are a potential threat to you and the big wall street/banking/corporate interests that you truly represent. You and your sponsors don't want to take any chances; not even from some under-funded, unknown political novice like yours truly. Because, if I were on the primary ballot and the polls tightened up, you would be forced into a position of having to debate your sorry past with me, and you know I would be asking some real uncomfortable questions. The prospect probably makes your thin skin crawl.
Hey, I almost forgot! The issues. First of all, I've been meaning to ask you about your enthusiastic support of the war in Iraq. You know, the war responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children. The war that has cost the lives of over 5000 American servicemen and women (not to mention the countless thousands seriously wounded). Does the loss of innocent lives bother you? Because it bothers most Americans. And it bothers a huge majority of Democrats in New York. And those democrats would have liked to hear you defend yourself for supporting this ugly war in a primary debate.
Oh, by the way, (I feel like Detective Columbo) give or take a few, how many funerals of New York's service members have you attended? I ask this because I was shocked when you admitted in a TV interview in 2007 (with Don Imus) that you had yet to visit the scandal-plagued, squalid and rat infested Walter Reed Hospital in DC. I suppose your conscience just couldn't stomach the ghastly specter of the horrific damage done to young men and women injured in this illegal war that you promoted and supported. Let me quote a few more excerpts from that same interview to stoke your memory:
Imus: Was your vote--originally to authorize the president to go to war in Iraq--in retrospect, was that a mistake on your part?
Schumer: I do always believe, you know, when the nation is attacked you try to give the chief executive some latitude, a little bit of the benefit of the doubt.
Imus: But we weren't attacked by Iraq.
Schumer: No, we were not attacked by Iraq.
Imus: So, I'm asking you, do you think your vote was a mistake?
Schumer: Well, again, I would say that I do believe in a strong chief executive in foreign policy (blah blah blah) ...
Indeed, we were not attacked by Iraq, Mr. Schumer. And Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. You knew that. But, for whatever unknown reason, you were always a fervent supporter of the unjust, unholy invasion and occupation of Iraq. You need to come clean and fess on that obsure reason. Inquiring NY voters, (particularly middle class Dems) would like to know!