Iva Deutchman, professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, was quoted in the Messenger Post newspapers about Congressman Eric Massa’s announcement yesterday that he would not seek a second term.
“I have to say this is a big surprise,” Deutchman said. “I have a lot of concern when guys like Massa and (U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.) decide NOT to run again, and you can barely get someone like Charlie Rangle to step down from his chairmanship of Ways and Means.”
Deutchman holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University in political science and economics. She is a professor of 20 plus years who has worked on two continents (Australia and North America). Deutchman has a long list of publications in major journals, the latest of which are “Fundamentalist Christians, Raunch Culture and Post-industrial Capitalism,” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Summer 2008, and “Five Factions, Two Parties: Caucus Membership in the House of Representatives, 1994- 2002,” Congress and the Presidency, 36:62-84, 2009 (with colleague DeWayne Lucas).
The full article follows.
Massa Drops Out Amid Allegations
Democrat cites health as reason
Julie Sherwood • staff writer March 3, 2010
Canandaigua, N.Y. –
Freshman Congressman Eric Massa announced Wednesday that he will not seek a second term, making reference to the cancer he has defeated in the past and dismissing rumors of misconduct.
The Corning Democrat said he had a cancer scare in December.
“I am a direct, salty guy who runs at 100 mph and my doctors have now clearly told me that I can no longer do that,” Massa said. “It is only fair and right that I announce that I will not run again in time for others to consider a run for this office.”
In citing health concerns, he dismissed – but did not directly deny – allegations that his decision was motivated in part by allegations he harassed a male staffer.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer would not elaborate on the allegation against Massa, other than to say he was aware of it. The allegation involved a male staffer, a House aide told The Associated Press, but the aide wouldn’t characterize the allegation further. The aide was not authorized to discuss the allegation and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Massa’s disclosure that he was dropping out of the race left both supporters and would-be opponents reeling.
A longtime Massa campaigner, Dr. Arun Nagpaul, said he was “extremely shocked and disappointed” at the announcement.
The medical director at Newark Wayne Community Hospital is a Democrat who lives in Phelps. He helped get Massa elected in 2008, volunteering on his campaign, and was doing the same for Massa’s re-election bid. This past Saturday, Dr. Nagpaul attended a private party in Phelps to rally Massa’s supporters. The event was attended by Massa.
“He talked about his campaign, how broken Washington is,” said Nagpaul. “Massa represented this county well and gives every issue a lot of thought.”
Massa’s Republican challenger, Corning Mayor Tom Reed, wished Massa well.
“I was saddened to hear that Congressman Massa’s health will preclude him from running for re-election,” he said. “While the Congressman and I disagreed on political issues, I respect his military and public service and wish him the best.”
Reed said he has spoken with county Republican chairs and all have pledged continued support for his campaign. Still, Massa’s departure has other Republicans taking a second look at the race.
“I have received dozens of calls from my colleagues in Monroe County, across New York State, and in Washington who have asked me to run for Congress now that the 29th Congressional District will be an open seat,” said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. “I will give this opportunity serious consideration over the next several days.”
Ontario County Republican Committee Chairman Jay Dutcher, said he thought Massa did the right thing to put his health and family first. Dutcher said it would be up to the proper authorities to determine whether allegations of misconduct were true or not.
Massa said he was announcing his decision now to give potential contenders time to run, and he dismissed a Politico story that cited unidentified House aides in reporting that the congressman had been accused of harassing a staffer.
“There are blogs who are saying I am leaving because there were charges of harassment against my staff,” Massa responded during the conference call. “Do I or have I ever used salty language when I am angry, especially in the privacy of my inner office or even at home? Yes, I have and I have apologized to those where it’s appropriate.
“But those kinds of articles, unsubstantiated without fact or backing, are a symptom of what’s wrong with this city,” he said, “and it’s why so many have looked at the absolute gridlock in Washington, the intense partisanship without rational thought and decided, like I, I do not have the life energy to fight all the battles all the time.”
He took no questions from reporters.
One local political science professor said the announcement is yet another strange twist in the world of politics.
“I have to say this is a big surprise,” wrote Iva Deutchman, professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, responding to the Massa announcement by e-mail. “I have a lot of concern when guys like Massa and (U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.) decide NOT to run again, and you can barely get someone like Charlie Rangle to step down from his chairmanship of Ways and Means.”
Massa, a former U.S. Navy officer, was stricken with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1996. He underwent aggressive treatment and stayed on as an aide to retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, a presidential candidate in 2004.
Massa was elected in 2008, defeating incumbent Republican Randy Kuhl in a district that has been dominated by Republicans since the Civil War. The district includes the Southern Tier, most of Ontario County, Yates County and portions of Monroe County.