Reason number 20 may seem personal, but it's really all about our collective good - as a district and as a nation. Reason number 20 to vote for Michael Arcuri is that Arcuri is not associated with William Teator. Ray Meier is.
Who is William Teator? He's a Washington D.C. lobbyist. You know what lobbyists are, don't you? Their job is to influence members of Congress. Jack Abramoff was a lobbyist.
Jack Abramoff was a slippery lobbyist, but in the end, he wasn't really very smooth. Taking the top procurement officer of the United States government on an all-expenses paid trip to Scotland wasn't smooth. It was obvious corruption.
William Teator is a much smoother lobbyist than that. How can I say such a thing? Well, unlike Jack Abramoff, William Teator managed to get the public official to pay for the trip so that they could schmooze.
Republican Congressman John Sweeney, who is facing a tough challenge from Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand this year, used public money to pay for a gigantic weekend ski trip up to the Adirondacks for him, his staffers, campaign donors, and a whole bunch of lobbyists.
William Teator was one of those lobbyists.
The official purpose of the trip? To promote the idea of tourism in New York State in Congress. The problem with that explanation is that John Sweeney organized the trip, and he's already in Congress, see, so it seems that he really didn't need any convincing.
Bob Bissen, with a firm called Petroleum Solutions, was invited. What does Petroleum Solutions have to do with promoting New York tourism? Lisi Kaufman was there. She's with a company called United Technolgies - not well known for tourism promotion. Kaufman is also the sister of Brad Card, who donated to Ray Meier's campaign this quarter but left his employment entry mysteriously blank. Ian Paul Steff, of Semiconductor Industry Association, was skiing right alongside William Teator and John Sweeney. You think tourism promotion, and you think semiconductors, right?
William Teator has been a lobbyist for the Livingston Group (and his alumni bio page at SUNY Binghampton indicates that he maintains active there), but now he appears to be working for the lobbying firm Capital Advocates, LLC.
William Teator is listed in the top 100 contributors to the Majority Initiative to Keep Electing Republicans Fund, which in turn has paid money to Congressman Tom DeLay, who has been indicted on multiple charges of corruption.
William Teator sent a check to Ray Meier this year. Ray Meier decided to keep that check.
Michael Arcuri has not taken any money from William Teator, or anyone who works for Capital Advocates, LLC.
To me, that's a damn good reason to vote for Michael Arcuri for Congress this year.
I ought to point out that William Teator has not been indicted on any charges of corruption. Still, I'm not left feeling comfortable with his influence with Ray Meier. Are you?