Sunday, October 24, 2010

Post-Standard endorsement - 23rd Congressional District: Bill Owens

Democratic incumbent Bill Owens argues he is a better fit for the district than a man with a “career on Wall Street.” Owens, the first Democratic congressman in the district since the Civil War era, won a tumultuous special election last year that included two Republicans — one of whom dropped out and endorsed Owens. In his short tenure, he has compiled a moderate record — voting for the health care bill, but opposing the financial regulation bill because of concerns it would hurt small banks in his district. Like Doheny, he calls for fresh thinking and is concerned about the federal deficit.

Owens is part of the “Center Aisle Caucus” — a small band of Republicans and Democrats trying to bridge the partisan gap. “We’re not successful in getting compromise yet, but we’ll see more as we go forward,” he says. Owens adds he already is working across the aisle to “tweak” health care legislation.

An effective advocate for his district, a voice for moderation and civility in the House, Owens deserves re-election.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I work in New York City and am familiar with Matt Doheny. For the past 10 years we both worked as distressed or “vulture” investors. Being a known Republican I was recently asked if I would vote for Doheny. Here is my response:

Doheny’s website spins his Wall Street career as some kind of dedication to job creation. Nonsense. For many years Doheny worked on the Distressed Trading Desk at Deutsche Bank in Manhattan. His group used the Bank’s capital (i.e. depositor money) to buy the bonds of troubled companies at a deep discount and then profited as the companies slashed jobs and outsourced to save money. Wall St. did not pay Doheny so well as a distressed debt lawyer-banker because he helped increase payrolls. Jobs were slashed - period.

Doheny’s Deutsche Bank trading group mirrored the same operation run by other banks like Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, and Citibank. This group put depositor funds at risk so his team could earn bonuses when distressed debt bets paid off. Doheny repeated his “investing” pattern by joining Fintech Advisors in 2008. Fintech is a well-known vulture hedge fund run by Mexican billionaire David Martinez out of London and New York City. Martinez was in the press in 2003 when he paid $54.7 million for a penthouse condo in the Time Warner Center, then a New York City record. At Fintech Doheny works on buying distressed debt hoping to help Martinez profit once costs are cut in a bankruptcy or reorganization. As a wall streeter myself I don’t begrudge Doheny this work, but the fact that he spins plain old vanilla vulture investing as “job creation” is fictitious and I imagine the voters in your District see through it.

I would vote for Bill Owens because character counts. For a long time Rep Owens has been living and working in his district while Doheny only returned from Wall Street when he sensed opportunity. Rep Owens made the sacrifice to serve in the military. Doheny made the personal decision not to serve, but nonetheless talks a lot about service. Although I would never vote for Obama, Pelosi or Reid, I would vote for a principled man over a moneyed opportunist. I don’t have a horse in this race, but I wanted the North Country to know what some of us “down here” are saying about Doheny.