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Nate McMurray for Congress

by / Nov. 5, 2018 6am EST

Election Day is Tuesday November 6th. Please vote to send Nate McMurray to Congress. 

Nate McMurray is the smartest and most exciting new Democratic politician I’ve seen in this area in a long time. 

This election is, in part, a referendum on Donald Trump and his Republican Party’s chaotic tumble into a nihilistic, eliminationist, and authoritarian movement. There are myriad reasons to be angry and concerned about the direction of the country. The economy may be humming along, for now, but what good is a 3.7% unemployment rate if you’re living under a kakocracy? When tariffs are imposed, violating contracts we’ve entered into with other countries, those are Republican taxes and they’ve already killed not a few jobs. The Trumpian movement is generally billed as some sort of anti-elitist populist movement, but Christopher C. Collins is at the summit of the local Republican suburban elites, and has been for at least 11 years. 

It takes a special sort of either cynicism or stupidity (or both) to perceive and promote Christopher C. Collins as some sort of pro-Trump avatar — a spokesman for the working man, battling against the big-city, coastal elites. 

Regardless of your political affiliation, I ask you please to vote on November 6th for Nate McMurray.

This year, in this race, we have a genuine opportunity to elect a good and smart person to Congress, and to expel someone whose cynicism is eclipsed only by his criminality and lack of any ethical or moral principles. 

Christopher Collins was a lousy one-term County Executive, and he’s been a worse Congressman. He’s been seen on CNN more than he’s been seen in the district. 

Nate is a regular guy from North Tonawanda who hasn’t forgotten where he came from. He grew up poor, worked hard, got an education, went abroad, and bettered himself. He is the embodiment of the American Dream that people used to talk about hopefully, back before the dark times. Before the Empire. (j/k)

He has done better than the generation that preceded him. 

McMurray lived for several years in South Korea, and has a unique perspective as a western New York re-pat who worked for years to open Asian markets up to American exports. He came back to work as in-house counsel at Delaware North, ran for Grand Island town supervisor, and won. He has shaken things up there, and that has, predictably, ruffled some establishment feathers. 

When McMurray jumped into the NY-27 race, it was clear that he had the smarts and the qualifications. So did other candidates, but Nate had also actually ran for — and won — a race. He understood the dynamics of a tough campaign, and had the chops to make waves and get his name out there. He’s also someone who isn’t a hyper-partisan. He works with people from all walks of life, and from all political viewpoints to achieve goals for the common good. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Republican idea or a Democratic one, as long as it’s good. 

The job of a representative is to represent his constituents. That’s difficult to do if he doesn’t make himself available to hear them out. 

I have long said that there’s no sense in running a partisan left Democrat in the Reynolds/Collins district, because that’s not the kind of district this is. There’s no sense, for instance, in running an anti-gun Democrat in a gun-friendly place. It makes no sense to run someone who is reflexively anti-Trump in a district Trump won by double digits. To that end, McMurray fits the bill. He has made many progressives upset with his centrist positions, but McMurray’s pitch this year is a simple one. It’s not about the party label, necessarily. It’s about merit. It’s about the rule of law. It’s about the sort of representative the people in the 27th district deserve to have speak for them in Washington. 

Nate’s not part of some Pelosi mob or Antifa or any of the other stuff Collins has tried to scare people about. I mean, Collins backed Trump. Trump won. Collins has been in Congress for several years. What the hell is he so angry and afraid about? Why can’t he say one positive thing about himself or his record or his President? 

McMurray’s pitch is quite compelling, especially in a district that Chris Collins and Chris Lee before him treated as personal fiefdoms to which they were entailed.  Chris Lee held “telephone town halls” where friendly pre-screened questions were filtered through to the politician, and the whole thing was tightly stage-managed. Never did he show up during the Obamacare debate to listen to his constituents, or to explain to them his thinking. 

Maybe it’s time to stop letting the Erie County Republican Committee select one ethical disaster after another to send to Washington. (Shout-out to Batavia’s David Bellavia, a hyper-partisan but comparatively honorable alternative, whom the Republicans found new and unique ways to overlook and disrespect). 

A Congressman should be accountable to his constituents — not just one November Tuesday every two years, but all the time. McMurray has pledged to hold a town hall meeting somewhere in the district — in person and not censored — every month if elected. McMurray calls it his “transparency pledge”, and he will also release his public schedule in advance to the public, and to introduce a bill requiring candidates to debate their opponents. 

It’s obvious that if the Democrats take the House, NY-27 will be better served with a Democrat in office than Christopher C. Collins. 

The biggest issue facing the average American in NY-27 isn’t some racist scaremongering about immigrants, but things like nstead health care. As Trump and the Republicans erode Obamacare, it has become crystal clear that some other solution is needed to ensure that every American gets the care and coverage he or she needs, without regard to ability to pay. Literally every other industrialized democracy has this figured out, but America has been dithering with this since World War 2. Britain has its NHS, Canada has its Medicare, but Americans still pay exorbitant rates to private companies whose bureaucracies are redundant, and ration care when they’re not resulting in medical bankruptcies.

When you see those milk jugs collecting money at the checkout counter for people’s health care, that’s not a heartwarming thing — that is a moral and ethical (if not medical) disaster. People should not have to rely on alms to pay for chemotherapy or any other care. Not kids, not adults, not seniors — no one. Americans should not have to have anxiety about how they’ll pay for care they and their loved ones need, and GoFundMe is not a substitute for a federal healthcare policy. 

Christopher Collins has voted repeatedly to not only take away or worsen your health insurance coverage, but he has expressly voted for a bill (he never read) that would repeal protections for pre-existing conditions. Nate McMurray will not do any such thing, and has advocated for a single-payer health coverage system to replace the ridiculous, anachronistic, and poor patchwork of coverage that Americans rely on. 

Christopher Collins voted to give himself and his friends at the club massive tax cuts, and this has exploded the deficit. The Republicans propose to pay for this by destroying Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. 

As far as tax policy, this is sheer depravity. 

I could recount and link to all of the negative things I’ve written about Christopher Collins: the articles are many, and the language is salty. But he deserves as much consideration and thought as he has given his vassals and serfs constituents as Lord Collins, Earl of Spaulding representative.  

Think instead on this: not once has Christopher Collins — a man who is under arrest and in custody for 11 felony counts set forth in a federal indictment — asked you for your vote. His every advertisement, his every pronouncement has been to personally destroy Nate McMurray, a guy who’s just running to do better than Collins. 

Chris Collins hasn’t asked you for your vote, because he thinks he deserves it without having to earn it. 

Not once has Christopher Collins set forth his record of achievements that would justify re-election. There’s no mailer or TV ad explaining just what a great job Collins has done for his constituents — or the country. 

Chris Collins isn’t bringing up his record, because the only record he’s got now is a criminal record. 

You would think that Chris Collins — a mad too cowardly to debate his opponent, to scared even to answer questions from High School students — could look his constituents in the eye and make some sort of pitch. Hey, I know you’re not sure about me, but I’ve worked hard for you and your vote matters to me. There won’t be any such ad — no such pitch. He hasn’t worked hard for you, and your vote doesn’t matter to him. He expects it. He expects to win. He is favored to win, despite the fact that the government accuses him of being a crook and a cheat and a liar. 

I’ve seen some Republicans on Collins’ Facebook page respond to critiques having to do with the indictment by saying, “innocent until proven guilty”. Right. Save that for the trial. This is politics, and the accusation itself is bad enough. The same crowd that screams “lock him [or her] up!” at the bare mention of any Democrats’ name — ostensibly for the crime of being a Democrat — has no standing to whine about the presumption of innocence. 

What other crimes do Collins supporters think befit a public official? 

Seriously, I ask that question because if a Democrat so much as sneezes weird, these people turn it into years’ worth of congressional investigations, but they’re willing to vote for a crook because he won’t take away their guns? 

Nate McMurray won’t take away your guns. He isn’t a fan of the SAFE Act. Every story the Republicans have fed you about McMurray being anti-Second Amendment are lies. 

In fact, Nate McMurray still retains his right to bear arms. Chris Collins relinquished his when he had to turn in his passport. 

The point here is that the job of a Representative is to serve the people — not just to do the constituent services piece, but also to help formulate federal policy, draft laws, and to listen. Christopher Collins has never listened to any non-Republican, and he’s seldom listened to anyone who hasn’t paid to be in his presence. Nate McMurray listens to people regardless of their political affiliation, because he wants to serve responsibly and responsively

I think it is especially important for a Democrat representing the 27th to stand there and hold himself accountable to his Republican constituents. I know Nate McMurray is up to the task, and that he won’t let us down. More importantly, I know that Nate McMurray genuinely cares about the direction of WNY because he has kids to raise here. He has work to do here. He wants to be a partner with Brian Higgins to ensure that the federal government is working for us, not against us.