Robertson Calls Out Reed on Congressional Perks, Reed Hits Back

Robertson Calls Out Reed on Congressional Perks, Reed Hits Back

(WETM-18) – Congressional Candidate Martha Robertson called on Congressman Tom Reed to denounce Congressional perks on Wednesday. Robertson made the call in Corning Wednesday afternoon outside the Congressman’s former medical debt collection firm.
Rep. Tom Reed's car
Rep. Tom Reed's car
(WETM-18) – Congressional Candidate Martha Robertson called on Congressman Tom Reed to denounce Congressional perks on Wednesday. Robertson made the call in Corning Wednesday afternoon outside the Congressman’s former medical debt collection firm.

Robertson listed four perks she wanted Reed to denounce: first class airfare, campaign-styled mailers to constituents, the congressional gym, and luxury cars; all funded by taxpayers.

When asked if she would call on other congressional Democrats to denounce these same perks, Robertson deflected the question, saying Reed has focused much of his attention talking about things he says the country cannot afford, like unemployment insurance. “Yet somehow we can afford these perks,” said Robertson. “The luxury cars, the airfare, the gym. How can we afford those things? So I call on Congressman Reed. He's the one I'm running against. I want him to show what he's made of."

In response to the “luxury cars” claim, Congressman Reed’s campaign released a picture of the car they say Reed drives back and forth to Washington, D.C. and across the 23rd District. It’s a 2008 Buick.

Reed also talked about the language Robertson used talking about the perks, which is very similar to that used by a number of other Democrats running for Congress in districts across the country. “When I see my opponent raising and regurgitating Democratic talking points and press releases that have been utilized across the country, it's all petty politics and it's a politics of character assassination when I want to talk about jobs,” said Reed.

Reed was at two jobs events Wednesday. One in Elmira, and the other in Owego at the Lockheed Martin plant.

Reed’s campaign also released a statement, saying, "In the last week, four Democratic candidates across the country, have used the exact same language and releases employed by Martha Robertson today," said campaign spokeswoman Katherine Pudwill. "Unless Robertson is going to call on Rep. Slaughter, Rep. Higgins and Senator Schumer to do the same, this is nothing more than a cheap campaign stunt to be ignored. Recycling messaging from liberal Washington allies will only get you so far, but sooner or later, Robertson will have to answer questions about doubling property taxes and raising her own salary four times. Tom cares about the families in Western New York, and has traveled to and from Washington DC in his "luxury" 2008 Buick to stay in touch, conduct town halls, and hear concerns from his constituents to continue fighting for jobs and the future."

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