A bad hair day for N.Y. Rep. John Faso

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By Sunday, Mar 26 We the People  32 Comments

Friday morning started badly for U.S. Rep. John Faso (R-N.Y.-19-Kinderhook), the area’s only Republican Congressional representative.

“SHAME ON YOU, JOHN FASO,” the headline on the editorial page of the Albany Times Union declared. The TU wasn’t just the biggest newspaper in his district, it had also endorsed him four months earlier, and contributed to his victory over reformer Zephyr Teachout in New York’s hotly contested swing district.

But Faso had screwed up. “With his abrupt decision to support the American Health Care Act,” the newspaper fulminated, ”the freshman Republican congressman from Kinderhook engages in a stunning series of betrayals — of tens of thousands of his constituents, of women in his district and beyond, and of taxpayers across New York state.”

U.S.Rep. John Faso

U.S.Rep. John Faso

A few hours later, Faso meekly took the floor of Congress to speak in behalf of the Donald Trump/Paul Ryan bill to repeal Obamacare. As soon as he was through, a Democrat rose to point out that Representative Faso had just vowed to support legislation that would take away health care from 66,000 of his own constituents, going against the expressed wishes of those who had elected him.

To make matters worse for Faso, after he went out on the limb, it was cut off, when a humiliated House Speaker Paul Ryan sensationally pulled his Obamacare repeal bill from the floor, marking a total disaster for the Republicans. Despite promising for seven years that they would abolish Obamacare and bellowing that their new super majority under Trump would end it with ease, the GOP’s abominable plan was thoroughly rejected by Republicans and Democrats alike, leaving egg on Trump’s face, Ryan’s face, and Faso’s hair.

But that was just the beginning.

A number of local groups had already staged protests outside Faso’s office and home, demanding that he heed the cries of the people he represents. He didn’t. And now he can count on much more.

Bobby Houston of Great Barrington’s Green Tea Party, one of the groups working to unseat Faso in 2018, reacted to the Congressman’s action by saying, “The guy was a lobbyist — his politics have most to do with his own career. He seems to be ignoring his constituents and thinks he can rely on some good manners and a hairdo.”

Faso’s actions broke his pledge that he wouldn’t vote to defund Planned Parenthood, and he betrayed other promises, say his critics.

Why, then, would he do it? Why vote over 91 percent of the time for Trump’s hideous bills?

Faso is a longtime politician who served several years in the impotent Assembly minority before trying, unsuccessfully, to get himself elected as comptroller or governor. As a lobbyist he was fined and banned for five years from appearing before the state pension fund, after he got caught in a pay-to-play scheme. He also lobbied on behalf of pro-fracking energy interests that were pushing to get their pipelines and other unpopular proposals approved.

In 2015 to 2016 Faso received $3 million in campaign contributions, of which $66,850 came from Elliott Management Corp., a hedge fund run by billionaire Paul Singer, who is one of the Republican Party’s top donors. He also received $10,800 from General Electric, a corporation responsible for poisoning the Hudson River, the Housatonic, and other natural resources in this region.

Another $10,800 came from Robert Mercer, the billionaire co-CEO who runs Renaissance Technologies Corp., the world’s most profitable and secretive hedge fund. Mercer is the right-wing extremist oligarch moneybags behind Steve Bannon, Breitbart News, Cambridge Analytica, Reclaim New York, the Government Accountability Institute, Kellyanne Conway, climate-change denial, anti-Islamic fervor, attacks on the news media, and the campaign to remove moderate Republicans and liberals from office. Mercer is also the key American supporter of Donald Trump — a figure ranking second only to Putin.

Mercer, Singer and GE don’t reside in Faso’s district. But that’s who he represents.

Friday was a bad day for Faso, but an unexpectedly better day for the people in his district.

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32 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Gene says:

    Just wondering….. Is this supposed to be objective journalism, or an opinion piece?

    1. Lynne says:

      Its in We the People section, so opinion piece.

      1. Gianni Ortiz says:

        You got your numbers wrong – Mercer gave him at least half a million in his primary +++. He is a corporate shill. Nothing more and nothing less. Trump hangs around his neck like a dead, rotting albatross. Throw him out. Please help us.

    2. Dan says:

      The headline reads Bad Hair Day. Did you expect to find hard news here?

  2. Steve Farina says:

    “Mercer, Singer and GE don’t reside in Faso’s district. But that’s who he represents.”
    Neither does Bobby Houston, the only apparent protestor you quoted…

    1. Patrick Fennell says:

      If you’re looking for GE money look at Richie Neal, 1st Congressional District MA, and if you look even closer all of our reps and new state senator have taken some form of GE, gas, and corporate money, but these guys keep getting elected , Richie has been in office for four decades. Oh and Gov. Patrick’s US Senate appointment, Sen Mo Cowan is an adviser to the GE Boston office. And for giggles and laughs former state senator Larkin also does some lobby work for GE,

      1. Norman Douglas says:

        I add to Patrick Fennell’s comments on Richie Neal, Neal introduced legislation in the House to blunt President Obama’s attempt, with the fiduciary rule, to stop insurance companies and Wall Street banks and companies from stripping the retirement savings in 401 accounts by charging high commissions and management fees as well as sweeping their junk into these accounts.

    2. Ted B. says:

      Generous Electric (GE) is everywhere ! Worldwide even ! There’s a whole pond of it here in Housatonic….want some !? Bring a bucket and get your FREE PCBs!

      1. John says:

        Don’t be picky with your data.
        Who has been responsible for massive reduction fuel consumption and resulting reduced carbon emissions. GE Aircraft Engines and GE locomotives.

        Who has been responsible for improving medical diagnosis? GE medical.

        Who has been responsible for keeping all in the United States safe for many years? GE ordinance.

        It goes on and on.

        Yes PCB’s are bad, but don’t forget our government approved placed PCB’s as approved discharge.

    3. Sean Slotterback says:

      So what are you trying to say Steve? That the only people protesting Faso are “bussed in”? That’s a lame and baseless assertion handed to you as a talking point from the Trump camp. I live in his district. I have been to the protests. There are hundreds, if not thousands of constituents in his district who are screaming to be heard. So please, if you have something intelligent to contribute, then by all means… but don’t just parrot the same propaganda given to you by Sean Hannity and the like.

      1. Steve Farina says:

        Sean, I apologize for allowing myself to get drawn into personally insulting comments. Reasoned political discussion has no place for that. I am happy to discuss the issues with anyone, and we will likely find there are many we agree on, as well as some we don’t.
        My request would be that anyone willing to get into this type of discussion first read George Washington’s Farewell Address. It is long, but we’ll worth the time.

        Again, I am sorry for the personal insult.

      2. Steve Farina says:

        My apology doesn’t even make sense in this stream. …another comment in the middle gone missing….I’m losing count, is that 3 or 4 now that have been removed for no apparent reason?

      3. Steve Farina says:

        Lest anyone returns to this article, my removed comment stated my observation that in an article about outside influences in this district, it is odd that the only protestor quoted is from outside the district. (The personal insult had to do with a disparaging comment about the ability to count and the difference between hundreds and thousands)….
        Wonder if this will be removed also…

  3. Steve Farina says:

    I do agree that support for Ryancare, as it has been called, is a bad idea. The Republicans need to either decide if they are against socialized health insurane (it is not about the care received, it is about who pays for it – Obamacare and Ryancare are both misnomers) and totally repeal it, or if they are for it and stop with the incredibly assinine “Repeal and Replace”

  4. Anthony Ehrlich says:

    I think this is a fine article, exposing Rep. Faso’s background, motivation, actions, and financing. I hope Zephyr Teachout will run again in 2018.

    1. Patrick Fennell says:

      Then why not expose democrats as well, like all of the MA democrats, they all have taken a lot of dirty money, or is it only republicans that are bad? Hypocritical don’t you think? The Housatonic River has been polluted for years and during the entire period of time MA has been ruled by democrats, over 85% in Boston and as of today 100% in Washington, so how is that partisan politics working out for all the tree huggers?

  5. John says:

    The election is over. The nation voted to remove the majority control from the presidency, the house and the senate.
    The pockets of incessant whiners wanting freebees for those fully capable of supporting themselves is obviously now showing. I know of so many people that abuse the system and they have the conscious to do it. It’s all about me me me….

    In case anybody didn’t notice, there sadly a terrorist attack in London this week. Our government must place our national security first and foremost. It’s all about priorities and government cannot be everything to everybody.

    1. George Grumbach says:

      Anonymous John, you are mistaken again, and again factless, and your comments have almost no relevance to the article on which you comment. (What does terrorism in the United Kingdom by a British citizen have to do with John Faso or health care or even the unconstitutional Muslim ban here?). Let the readers know what health insurance you have, so we can judge where you are coming from on this issue. And, by the way, you are right that the election is over. But now it is up to the winners to deliver on their promises. So far, they have welshed. And Faso sold his soul for zilch.

      1. John says:

        So sorry that you are unable to connect the dots.
        Again I will say it, governement cannot be everything to everybody, yet now so many want, and expect, a free hand out at a cost to ones neighbor.
        George, there must be priorities set for limited resouceses, called tax dollars.
        Want to fix the healthcare system? Go after the costs. Most Doctors need to spend 6 figures on malpractice insurance from ravenous attorneys advertising to go after your doctor. That’s about 50 bucks an hour to start….
        Free everything for everybody is obviously unsustainable, yet the democrats throw tantrums and demand it.
        Someone had to be responsible for the big picture, and it’s usually a republican

      2. Rita Kasky says:

        Keep the heat on! I know there are many here in Berkshire County who are working to unseat Faso, even though we’re not in his realm.
        Thanks for continuing to speak out.

  6. George says:

    Why wait for 2018? Let the good citizens in Faso’s district stage a recall vote.

  7. George Grumbach says:

    Anonymous John, you didn’t answe my question: what is your health insurance? And now you write that the solution is to curb medical malpractice claims. I wish that were the simple solution, but it isn’t. No Republican has said that would solve the problem. The big picture you claim the Republicans alone can see is that there are not enough resources for everyone. Their solution would have been to deprive 24 million people of health insurance so they could give the wealthy new tax breaks. Uh huh.

    1. Steve Farina says:

      Why is Obamacare exploding? (rhetorical)…it needs the millenials. They are being too lazy, uninitiated, or broke to have to buy insurance. There is a large percentage of that generation who is not in the workforce – not unemployed per the way the government reports it. Many people I know, especially those with children in that generation, wonder why the millenials feel so “entitled”.
      The baby boomers have been running the government for, what, 60 or 70 years. They have accumulated over $19 Trillion dollars in debt which will have to be paid for by the millenials and the generations that follow them (not a problem for the entitled boomers), now they need millenials to actuarialize the cost of the boomer’s health insurance so the boomer’d don’t have to pay so much (after all, the noomers are entitled to lower cost heath insurance – even if it comes at the expense of their grandkids.
      Wanting things they can’t pay for, and taking them anyway like entitled little brats….I wonder where the millenials learned it

      1. George Grumbach says:

        Steve, the central premise of insurance is risk spreading. With health insurance the main way to do this is to expect the healthy to buy insurance. In general, younger people are healthier than older people. But even some young people may discover that they need insurance. For example, some cancers strike the young and middle aged. And so do addiction and skiing accidents. And, most important, some day the young people will be old. So, it is perfectly fair to have them buy insurance now, expecting young people to buy insurance when they get old, to spread the risk. Social security works the same way. As far as your point about the boomers running up debt, that is a red herring. Despite conservative chicken-littles who have claimed for decades that the amount of our debt would make the sky fall, it hasn’t happened. Indeed, there has not even been any inflation until now. It’s not so much the boomers, it’s the one percenters who want their new tax cuts, even if they deprive 24 million people of health insurance by balancing the budget that way.

      2. Steve Farina says:

        Exactly, add to the burden of the younger generation to pay for something you want to be cheaper for yourself…make it a law and force them to do it…all so the generation that came up with the idea can be more comfortable, as they are entitled to be – because they want to be, after all.
        Then the young can do the same thing to their young…that makes it fair…

        On the debt, the sky will fall when the dollar is no longer the reserve currency, an idea already floated by Russia, China, and others. The US is currently funding it’s debt using methods that put Enron executives in jail, but they get away with it – for now. To ever think that putting this burden on our young is a good idea shows a true lack of understanding of the magnitude of the problem.

      3. Steve Farina says:


        Here is a recent article which you may find interesting regarding the “red herring”. Since Nixon took us off the Gold Standard our fiat money system has gotten way out of control. The problems actually go back further than that, but it was a turning point.
        It is only a matter of time before our economy implodes, and I can assure you that President Trump can do nothing about it (nor has he caused it).


  8. George Grumbach says:

    Steve, think of expecting the young to buy health insurance as forced savings that they will get back when they become old, in the form of lower health insurance premiums. The alternative is to make health insurance for older people unaffordable except for one-percenters. And if we accepted your argument, we would abolish Medicare, which is paid for annually out of Social Security, which the old no longer contribute to.

    1. Steve Farina says:

      Forced is a good word…and they only get it back if they force it on their young…so much for land of the free when we are unable to make choices for ourselves.

      Maybe the boomers should have listened and learned from their Depression Era parents and learned that being able to afford something meant being able to pay for it out of pocket, not based upon debt and monthly payments.

      How ever did civilization survive before the onset of the insurance industry?

      It is time to start helping the younger generations learn from the error of our ways. Living in debt and living in excess has consequences. Those consequences come at a price. Let the boomers pay for the consequences of their own actions and give the millenials, and beyond, a clean slate to start from.

      1. Rob F. says:

        Why is it that people don’t recognize the problems with driving up our debt and expecting the next generation to pay for it? Live within your means, isn’t that we are all supposed to be doing? So why is it that people expect our government to supply us with “free” stuff? Meanwhile we need to increase taxes to feed the government so they can feed us! (Or we can borrow a few more trillion from Asia)

  9. Chris says:

    Faso is a liar gee who have would thought?! …..ANYBODY with the slightest clue!

  10. Ted B. says:

    Yep the election is over…..and Putin did a fine job installing his puppet into office !

  11. Elisa Novick says:

    I could not understand how this guy could win over someone as wonderful as Zephyr Teachout. Now I know. I remember the first time I saw just his name on a sign by the side of the road before the election last year when I was living in Germantown, New York. Knowing nothing whatsoever about him, I got a really bad feeling. I hope this article gets shared in his area.

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