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Thursday, June 10, 2010

There's something weird about Matt Zeller's candidacy for NY's 29th congressional district

By Sam Foster
Via Olean Times

Does anyone else find Matt Zeller's story regarding his election bid, weird?  

Normally, I wouldn't delve into something as mundane as a candidate's motivation to run for congress, that's what the campaigning process is all about and quite honestly the value of one's ideas should always outweigh their location of residence.  However, Matt Zeller's story for how he came to Victor to run for NY's 29th congressional district is so full of strange nuances that, I couldn't let it go without mention.  

Matt Zeller was out campaigning the other night in Olean looking for donations.  He gave the following explanation for his arrival immediately following Eric Massa's resignation:

A visit to the district last fall to thank his aunt and her friends for knitting hats he and members of his unit handed out to Afghan children, he saw evidence of businesses that were closing and lost jobs. Besides getting homesick for Western New York, he started thinking about how he could "help put folks back to work."

After talking about doing something for months with his fiancée and friends, he finally decided to move back home to Victor in Monroe County to try to make a difference. He wasn't sure what he would do.

"As fate would have it, Eric Massa resigned that day," he said.

Mr. Massa was elected to represent the 29th Congressional District in November 2008. He resigned his seat March 8 over reports of health and allegations of sexual harassment involving a male aide.

Mr. Zeller, 28, convinced a majority of the Democratic chairmen in the eight-county congressional district that he would make the best candidate in the special election. Republicans had earlier chosen former Corning Mayor Tom Reed to run for the seat.

Here is the standard mold for a local politician;

1. Politician grew up in the area
2. Or at least moved to the area for sometime before
3. They decide to run for office
4. And often, they've held a previous office.  

Not so with Matt Zeller.  Although he grew up in the area, he really hasn't lived here in over ten years.  I have no doubt that a run for NY's 29th congressional district was his reason for moving back, but was his motivation solely a matter of heartfelt homesickness?  

In an interview he did for the Brighton Pittsford Post.  A number of oddities emerge.  Zeller had been working in the Department of Defense for the CIA in Washington DC immediately before his move.  In case you forget, DC is where all those national politicians meet.  After being forced to resign due to his run for office, he takes residence not at his aunt and uncle's residence, but at the Monroe County Democrat Committee headquarters.  Within a short time Zeller convinced the Democrat County Chairmen, to nominate him for the special election of which these chairmen supposedly had never heard of Matt Zeller.  The Mr. Zeller went straight to work parroting every single Democrat talking point from no drilling, to imaginary green jobs, to a two-state solution for Israel, with no divergence from the party line.

Matt Zeller calls it fate and it may even be the true, but I call it weird.    


Anonymous said...

Yo Sam,

You call it weird - I call it BS. It's preposterous that a newly hatched CIA analyst quits his job to, in his words, "devote himself to national service" as a Member of Congress, a job he admits he has a 1% chance of getting. More likely than not he failed the CIA lie detector test about drug use or something like that and got canned.

conservative generation said...

Could be, I think it's more likely someone greased the wheels for him to run. His first interview on Wham 13 and he essentially says that he doesn't want to see Patterson call a special election, which happens to be the election he quit his job to go run. It doesn't add up or make sense, but we'll never know.

Fenway_Nation said...

I'd say his almost verbatim repetition of Democrat talking points in one of the interviews I saw would throw up a red flag, but come to think of it, how would that seperate him from most other Dems running for office this fall?

Anonymous said...

Conservative Generation:
Of course someone greased the wheels. Tom Reed was prepped to take on Massa. When Massa self-destructed the RNC needed a Massa clone as Reed's straw man. Zeller, hanging in DC with RNC buddies was broke and out of a job. Zeller is Tom Reed's wet dream. So who do you think greased the wheels?

conservative generation said...

Fenway_Nation - very true. However, it is always astounding to watch it happen locally. It even makes one wonder if you have to check your brain at the door of the DNC when you start campaigning or long before?

Anonymous said...

I only recently met Matt Zeller and now know him very well. And all the weird stuff is "true". He is honest and by the way did pass the CIA lie detector, and actually did work for them. So there is nothing in his records that he needs to hide. He really cares about our country and now is taking the opportunity to make difference in stead of just talking. PS.. he join the army after 911 if that doesn't show he care, then want does...and he didn't have to join. Do your research before you post.

conservative generation said...

Anon - In general, I wouldn't put it past the Republicans, but you'd have to explain how in the world the Republicans convinced 8 democrat county chairman to back Zeller.

Fenway_Nation said...

It's not his service that has me thinking he'd be a bad fit foy NY-29, anon 2.0. At least his service is more distinguished than opportunistic IVAW wingnut Adam Kokesh.

It is Zeller's support for job-killing initiatives like 0bamacare and cap & trade as well as the moratorium on drilling in the Marcellus shale in upstate NY that makes me think he'd b a bad fit for....well...pretty much any district outside of San Francisco.

conservative generation said...

@ Anon - Clearly, you have not done your own research.

1. You say you agree with me that what is weird is weird, so you really don't have much to argue about. 2. this isn't a contest of niceness or Janice Volk would run away with the election 3. General Grant was a wonderful patriot and made a lousy President. Matt's military service is a credit to him, but does not erase the fact that his policies are cookie cutter Democrat talking points. Clearly he does not think for himself. 4. If he really cared he'd be pushing Patterson to hold a special election and give his voters a voice in Washington, regardless of whether it betters his chance for winning. He has failed to do so and so it speaks extremely poorly on his character.

There really isn't anything else to this candidate now is there?

Anonymous said...

The best way to learn about Matt Zeller is to meet him, ask questions, and listen with an open mind.

Anonymous said...

The Monroe County Democratic Committee chairs wanted Dave Koon, and he wanted the position. The higher ups in MCDC said no; Zeller's the one. So here is the situation...

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