Madigan a better choice? than Higgins for House

The News has endorsed Rep. Brian Higgins over the challenger, Mike Madigan, for the 26th Congressional District. Its dismissal of Madigan included the belief that his interest in education would be better suited for local office. The same argument can be used against Higgins. His interest in the waterfront would suggest that he resign from the House and devote his energies to that. The News views his prodding the Power Authority into a settlement that accelerated payment of funds as the "top prize." Please! He did his best imitation of Luca Brasi and got the Power Authority, a state agency, to cough up funds or have the relicensing of the hydro facility held up interminably. One may think that it is wonderful to improve the waterfront, but that does not justify a House member spending his time doing it.

Higgins' record in the House is awful. He has one the worst voting records on pro-growth legislation. He comes from an area whose taxpayers are being crushed by Medicaid expenses. Has he ever introduced any legislation to correct the flaws in that program? On the other hand, he is a sure vote on any expansion of government spending. He is a Catholic, especially when he is trolling for votes in South Buffalo. The Catholic Church is currently engaged in a very serious constitutional issue with the Obama administration over First Amendment rights. Where has Higgins been on this?

He is paid to represent our interests in Washington, not extort money from a state agency so he can play big shot with other people's money. In short, Higgins is an empty suit. He does not deserve to be re-elected. We need fresh ideas. For our own good, we should elect Madigan.

James Mulcahy

Grand Island


Taxes have been low,? so where are the jobs?

The Republicans insist on keeping the taxes low on the wealthy because they are the "job creators." Wait a minute! They have had low taxes like all of us since the Bush tax cuts went into effect in 2003. So where are all these jobs they have not created?

David F. Baker



Shinagawa will work?for all, not just a few

Rep. Tom Reed votes nearly identical to vice presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan. Last March, Reed voted in favor of Ryan's 2012 Path to Prosperity budget proposal. This plan included repealing Obamacare, cuts to Medicaid and the infamous Medicare voucher program for those born after 1956.

Ryan's 2013 Path to Prosperity (with Mitt Romney's endorsement) calls for changes in Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security: The Ryan budget heavily shifts costs to states by cutting Medicaid funding, resulting in 44 million fewer people being covered under Medicaid. Our state income taxes and local property taxes will have to pick up the slack.

The Ryan budget also raises the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67. Senior citizens will have to pay as much as 68 percent of their health care coverage while leaving some uninsured.

The Ryan budget will force Congress to fast-track legislation determining the future of Social Security by expediting consideration within two months of the president submitting legislation. Unprecedented, Ryan's budget proposal would force the president and Congress into making Social Security solvent in any year Social Security is not in a 75-year balance. Finally, the Ryan plan endorses exclusively only the benefit cuts put forward by Simpson-Bowles. Reed's voting record favors insurance company profits over human beings.

Nate Shinagawa will represent all of us, not just the few. Vote for Shinagawa on Election Day.

Maureen A. Harding



It's unlikely Hochul? will vote for tax cuts

In her efforts to win re-election, Rep. Kathy Hochul has decided to employ the class envy card via her television ads mocking Chris Collins for his wealth and material accumulations, just as any Obama clone would do.

As Erie County executive, I believe Collins did not take any salary until the fiscal mess he inherited was cleaned up. His wealth, which is substantial, was earned in the private sector. Hochul's household receives $310,900 in taxpayer funds, reflected in the salaries of herself and her husband, U.S. Attorney William Hochul.

With a household receiving that much money from taxpayers, and having zero private-sector experience, what are the odds of Hochul voting to cut taxes, which have been the lifeblood in funding her lifestyle for her entire career?

Ken Wojcieszek



Debates didn't answer? many serious questions

The presidential debates were a sham. We failed to get any substantive answers to some serious questions. For starters, why has the Department of Homeland Security purchased a staggering 1.2 billion rounds of ammo in this past year, much of which is hollow-tipped? Why the need for so much when we're not even counting the military or local police in that number?

The president signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the president alone the authority to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without official charge or trial on the mere suspicion of being a terrorist or linked to a terrorist organization. Both candidates support this legislation. Do we now have a president or a king?

On economic issues, why was there no mention of the Trans Pacific Partnership, which some have called "NAFTA on steroids"? The United States has lost a whopping 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001 – this will help how?

Finally, there remains no accountability for the Federal Reserve. After the 2008 bailout, the Federal Reserve gave trillions to foreign banks without our knowledge. How about we reinforce JFK's Executive Order 11110 to replace Federal Reserve notes with U.S. notes backed by silver?

David Jager



Hochul is champion ?for women's health

I applaud The News on its recent editorials supporting policies that protect access to comprehensive women's health care and the advancement of sex education for youth. In these tough economic times, more women than ever need access to affordable, nonjudgmental health care, including access to birth control. That's why I am supporting candidates like Rep. Kathy Hochul – a proven champion for women's health.

Linda Ray

Board Member, Planned Parenthood

Advocates of New York