Thursday, April 13, 2006

Was Arcuri For the Iraq War or Against It?

Some commenters here have tried to treat this as a complicated matter, when it's not:

In late 2002 and early 2003, when it was clear that George W. Bush was hell-bent on starting a war with Iraq, did Michael Arcuri support the war or did he oppose it?

Some commenters here have said that, as District Attorney for Oneida County, Michael Arcuri could not take a public position on the war, because district attorneys are supposed to be seen as above politics and so can't take positions on important issues.

Well, if that's true, then how come District Attorney Michael Arcuri is making statements on a range of issues now?

Ah, say Arcuri's supporters, well, Arcuri is running for a legislative position now, so the ethics are different.

Are they, really?

Is Michael Arcuri still not District Attorney for Oneida County? Is he not still supposed to be regarded as above politics?

What's the difference between then and now?

Here's the difference:

  • In late 2002 and early 2003, there was a lot at stake for other people. Sons and daughters of families in New York's 24th district were getting ready to be sent to kill and be killed for a war based on lies - and many Democrats in the 24th district were working like hell to try to stop it. So far, there is no evidence that Michael Arcuri was one of them.

  • Now, in 2006, there is a lot at stake for Michael Arcuri. Michael Arcuri's political ambition is on the line. Now, three years after the war began, Michael Arcuri is finally breaking his public silence to come out with a position on the war. It's not a very coherent position, but Michael Arcuri is speaking publicly about it.

    If was wrong for Mike Arcuri to go public with a position on war in Iraq for the sake of the families of the 24th District, what makes it ethically acceptable for Arcuri to go public with a position on the Iraq War now, for the sake of his personal political ambition?

    Please, explain these ethics to me. Explain the consistent moral principles behind Arcuri's stance now and in 2003.

    Hint: Just saying that "this is how things are done" or that "this is the way that real politics are played" is won't cut it. We're talking ethics here, and power for the sake of power is a pretty low ethical standard.

    As I said before, if someone can bring me evidence that Michael Arcuri did anything to stand against the Iraq War in 2003, I'd be happy to report that here.

    Anonymous said...

    I'm still looking for the evidence that les roberts took such a position publicly at the time. why should I just assume that he did because you said so?

    Anonymous said...

    Better question. Is Mike Arcuri a 1st, 2nd or 3rd tier candidate?

    Despite the protestations of the Oneida partisans, or maybe reinforced by it, I'd say Arcuri is 2nd tier.

    The very fact that he is still running for Congress on a part-time basis, while the two Republicans are and will do it on a full time basis is proof enough.

    Anonymous said...

    First of all, in 2002-2003, Arcuri was much more likely to have to face a possible prosecution of suspected terrorists (i.e. the six from Buffalo, Albany, Ithaca, etc.). If that should have ever touched on Oneida County, it would have been a conflict of interest.

    Second, who says he didn't oppose the Iraq War? As a District Attorney you simply don't come out publicly about political issues. Your job is to prosecute cases and stay away from politics. It is very different today, because he is simply answering questions as to his positions on issues facing the district he is running for. Also, he has made it clear that even if he is unsuccessful in his bid for Congress, he will not run for DA again. This is a terrible issue for you to raise.

    Playing on the fears of the public and using such a tragic event for political gain is down right shameful, not to mention, a terrible strategic plan. But hey, keep it up, it will only help Arcuri.

    Anonymous said...

    I am not interested in what the candidates opinion was before the war started. What I do want to know is what is their postion on the war today.

    You really are reaching.

    (Bet you don't publish this comment)

    Acme101 said...

    I have been following your comments for a while now, and while it is obvious that you have a strong leaning towards Les Roberts, I have tried to give you the benefit of the doubt. This comment however makes me realize how biased you really are. Why don't you stop bashing Arcuri every chance you get and try to help facilitate the one thing that would actually help. A debate. Two years ago, Jeff Miller and Brian Goodell held several debates so that the voters of the 24th district could really get a feel for the two candidates and how they differed. This time around I have not seen or heard of anything mentioned. I have heard both candidates speak on numerous occassions, and while I originally was leaning towards Roberts, Arcuri won my support. His speechs are passionate and fiery and he is very clear regarding his stand on the issues. What exactly do you have against him. Lets remember who the real enemy is and pick the guy who is truly electable. He may not be progressive enough for you, but unfortunately there are a few more voters in the 24th then you and a hell of a lot of them want a moderate stance. Arcuri gives them a nice option over Meier.

    Anonymous said...

    acme101 - why do you think Meier will win over Jones?

    I think you're too used to middling mediocrity.

    Anonymous said...

    Good golly 64% of poll responders like Arcuri.

    Anonymous said...

    Push Polls don't always work out well do they?

    Anonymous said...

    I think Meier will win over Jones because he will inherit all of Boehlert's big buck special interest donations. The Republicans will rally around Casper Milktoast like he's the Baby Jesus, trust me.

    24 Independent said...

    Push polls?

    I'm not conducting push polls. These are issues polls aimed at understanding where voters' limits on candidates on the very important issues of the day are.

    If I were conducting a push poll, it would have language like what they used with John McCain: "If you discovered that Michael Arcuri had been sleeping with Leon Koziol..."

    I'm asking about issues that are not settled, and looking to see how much it would matter if Arcuri came down for certain on one side or the other. Given the extremely ambiguous statements that Arcuri makes on the issues, when he speaks on an issue at all, I think that's extremely appropriate.

    Go and look at Arcuri's web site, and see what I'm talking about. He makes very few and very vague policy suggestions. We need our candidates to be a lot more specific than that so that we can make an intelligent choice in the primary - NOT just one based on geographical loyalty and power principles.

    Anonymous said...

    Push polls aren't about sex, they are about placing a thought into a person's head that implies the answer to the accusation is "yes," so that you might influence the person's opinion of the candidate. Thus, "If you knew that Michael Arcuri were in favor of the Iraq war in 2003, would you vote for him?". That's no different than the push poll that was done to Mccain. It planted the thought in the recipient's head. Now the truth is, Arcuri is a DA. He had no business formulating an opinion on the Iraq war at the time. It would have been unethical. I challenge you to name ONE DA who spoke out for or against the war. It's just not done. He is running for a legislative branch office now, and so he can formulate an opinion on legislative issues. But you already know all this. The topic can't be abortion anymore, so you now need another topic with wish to bash Arcuri. It didn't work with the first subject and it won't work with this one in the end either. Is the goal to make les roberts look better to everybody by making arcuri look worse?

    24 Independent said...

    Push poll? Putting ideas in people's heads? Listen, my anonymous-too-afraid-to-leave-a-real-name commenter, it's pretty silly of you to suggest that I'm putting questions about the Iraq War into voter's heads with a poll question on a blog.

    Questions about the Iraq War already exist in the minds of voters. All across America, congressional candidates are having to answer for their positions on starting the Iraq War back in 2003. So far, Arcuri has avoided the issue. When there's a lack of information, it's a fair question to ask voters how they would react if the candidate's stand was made public.

    It's not a push poll because I'm not introducing the question of Arcuri's stand on the war. Arcuri himself says NOW that the Iraq War was a mistake. It's only logical to ask if he had the same position in 2003, when it really mattered.

    Now, if I were to ask a question like this: "Would you vote for Arcuri if you found out he was taking bribes from industrial corporations in Guatemala?" - THAT would be a push poll.

    As it is, I've asked a question that you don't like, to which I can only react by saying: Tough luck.

    24 Independent said...

    In case of a conflict of interest, the DA only has to step aside for an assistant DA to take on the case. Not a big deal.

    When it comes to that name-one-DA challenge, well, that's this morning's article, and I don't think you'll like it, oh anonymous 2:24.

    Anonymous said...

    We are still waiting for that link on Les and that link on Eliot. Until I see proof, it's not a matter of whether I like it so much as whether I believe it.

    24 Independent said...

    Read this morning's article - you'll find the link for Spitzer - TWO, in fact.